Blogger: Rachel Zurakowski
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When an author has established a brand and has an audience, the author needs to work hard to stick with the brand for future projects. That way, he or she is able to keep building a following. Books, interviews, and speaking engagements all support and build the brand and audience. Likely, the first book written by an author is the one that is about the topic that touches and interests the author the most, so this is where the passion is strongest.
What happens when you want to write a book outside your brand? Unfortunately, the chances of its working for you are slim to none. Think back on the classics.
I can’t imagine that a Jane Austen legal thriller would have sold very well. It’s just not Jane Austen! I know that we’re currently putting zombies and vampires into stories of hers and they’re selling, but she’s not writing the books that way. I can only imagine what she would think if she knew about these new versions. I suspect the craziness of linking Jane Austen with a most unlikely subject is the reason they are selling.
When you write outside of your brand, you lose your initial audience. Your readers have grown to love what you write, but when they pick up a book by you, and it’s not what they expected to find, they won’t read it and might decide to quit reading books by you altogether. You might pick up a different audience if your new book is successful, but if you don’t stick with your brand, your marketing attention will be divided, and your initial audience will lose interest.
If you were to choose to write outside of your brand, the publishing houses would also be less likely to publish your book! If something is working well for you and sales are strong, the publishers will want to publish that type of book with you for an established audience.
Now, think about these familiar names. What is the first thing that comes to mind when you read the names?
I’m pretty sure that, as you thought of each of these names, the authors’ brand is what you thought about. Am I right? Feel free to share with us what each name brought to mind for you.
That’s the strength of branding! The author’s name alone can bring to mind the type of book he or she writes.
What other authors have a strong brand? Can you think of authors who are successful with more than one brand? What is (or will be) your brand?