Author, Christina Farley, has been doing a great series over on the MiG blog about what a post-sale, pre-publication author can do to ready herself for the big book debut. Link is HERE
Like a good, A-minus student, I was happy to see that I've actually tackled a number of these things already. But the point she makes on branding oneself as an author has adllepated my brain.
Brand Myself? Like in a neat little box with a shiny bow and recognizable stickers all over the side? See me shudder in horror.
Because the thing about me is my brand would have to be change. I had a major change in my life years ago that when I told one of my high school besties, she just shrugged her shoulders and said, "Well the thing that's consistent about you is you're always changing."
See?! I can't brand myself. I'm a Gemini for peets sake, two for the price of one. I'm business in the front and party in the back. How can I lock myself up in a big box store?
Cue the voice of responsibility: Calm down, oh fair, frisky one. This is not a life sentence. It is but a look inside your deeper soul. Your brand is nothing more than an extension of your writer's voice.
What?! So the sub-conscious went all Yoda on me, but does the sub-conscious realize how elusive the writer's voice is? The Yoda voice does have a calming effect so I took a few deep breaths and gave it some thought.
And here's what settled:
Branding yourself is not a life sentence. It's the images, colors, and core beliefs that are a constant in your life. I am a nature girl. I am irreverent. I am rarely judgmental except about judgmental people. I believe in family, but not necessarily blood family. I love animals. I love teenagers. I love art and deeply looking at the world. I think laughter IS the best medicine. I care about social justice. And I love telling stories. And all of these things end up in my stories.
I'm still not sure how this translates into a brand. But I think I've started. The dandelion will continue to play a role in my on-line image presence. My author shots were taken at the Botanical Gardens. My books involve family and irreverence, social justice and always an animal or two. I teach high school students and I love all of the colors. Some days I'll dress business, some days geeky, some days hippy, some days middle-aged farm frau - but what you can expect from me is a genuine smile and someone who'll laugh at all the stupid jokes. Can I name my brand?
What are your thoughts on the 21st century demand for author branding?