Wednesday, January 23, 2008

For More Branding, See...

CS Harris over on her blog has a lot more on the topic of brancing. CS (Candice) is also in my writing group and it was she who brought the topic to our attention Monday night. She's done a lot more thinking about it than I have so check out her posts on the subject.

By the way, in my thoughts on "branding," I wasn't sure whether I should include a "series" as an example. The reason is, to me, branding is more about subject matter, plot devices, and so on than it is about character. I can see how a series character could also become a brand, but I don't think it necessarily needs to be.


Josephine Damian said...

Whether you write series or not, the publishers seem to try their best to stick you in a niche and keep you there.

Charles, thanks for directing me to Candy's blog. You are lucky to have like minded writer friends in your group and published authors as well. My group just looks at me like I'm a psycho when I talk about blogging and myspace, and the only "published" authors we have are the self-published types who don't seem to get that they've shot themselves in the foot.

Travis Erwin said...

I'm goign to put my thoughts here though they go back to your last post.

I think branding is good for sales and the publsiher and for the lazy reader. I do think they stifle the writer, tend to lead to the same ol same ol', and automatically reduce an auhtor's chance at critical acclaim.

I have heard numerous agents and editors say that many of the name brand authors rarely writer the novels that their names appear on.

But the money is good, or so they say.

Miladysa said...

lol @ josephine

hmm... it's all great food for thought :)

Bernita said...

A brand is really a combination of things, isn't it.

RRN said...

I decided I might as well chime in out of no where on this subject.

"Branding" doesn't really seem to be something that recognizes all to many boundries. Many musicians face this ideal and some of my favorite ones have created music that will knowingly alienate their current fanbase....Minus the fans with minds and hearts starving for the creativity an artist has to offer up and appreciating said for just such.

In the end...I believe the cook should always be making the food from their own heart and soul ; whether the person paying for the food chooses to dive in and enjoy it for what it is becomes ones own choice.
Although....having a few glasses of wine first most likely will help.

Inside our hands, outside our hearts said...


smiles, I just posted on branding. I am going to refer you there.

Have a wonderful day

Lana Gramlich said...

You've branded your name on my heart, & that's okay with me. Awwwwwwwwwwwwww. ;)

Erik Donald France said...

Branding is ok, but I do like mixing things up both as reader and writer.

Charles Gramlich said...

Josephine, definitely the publishers want to put a writer into a niche and keep them there. And yes, my writing group is pretty cool. A lot of very productive people in it.

Travis Erwin, good point about branding decreasing an author's chance for critical acclaim. I hadn't thought of that.

Miladysa, keeps the old noggin going for sure.

Bernita, it seems a pretty broad topic, for sure.

RRN, thanks for visiting. Yes, I think all the creative arts run into this at times. I like your cooking analogy.

Tara, I'll take a look.

Lana, you are too sweet. Awwwww

Erik, I'm sorry. You aren't as sweet as Lana. But yeah, for a writer I think mixing things up is definitely more interesting.

Angie said...

Charles -- right, I never really thought of branding being linked to a particular series. I mean, if a writer gets stuck doing endless volumes of a series, that's a whole different problem. From what I've heard, Frank Herbert didn't want to write any sequels to Dune, but his publisher insisted and it showed. Piers Anthony very quickly got sick of the Xanth books, but again, they sold like crazy and his publisher insisted on a new one every year. And of course, Conan Doyle's hatred of Holmes is well known. That's not what I think of when I hear "authorial branding," although I suppose it could count as a subset.

I was thinking more of John Grisham, who's "the guy who writes legal thrillers." He might never have written an actual sequel to any previous book (don't know, don't read him) but there's such a strong sameness of type to everything he writes that even I'm aware of it.


Stacia said...

Hmm. Branding.

I don't necessarily like genre branding. I do like author voice branding, if that makes any sense. I like to write different kinds of things, and obviously I keep December and Stacia's work rather separate because they are SO different. But I want people to know when they pick up either they'll get clever characters, exciting action, etc...

So while I want to be a brand, I don't want to be "the author who writes heartwarming small town tales" or whatever. I just want to be clever and good.

Charles Gramlich said...

Angie, yes, my thoughts exactly.

Stacia, I definitely think author voice is a different thing, and I like to think my voice comes through to some extent in everything I write, even if it is written to the constraints of specific genres.

Lisa said...

Great post Charles. As many books as there are on writing out there, I haven't read any of these. I have a big collection of craft books too and one of these days I'd like to start mini-reviewing them, just to share what they are and aren't and what I thought of them. I have a fair number that were disappointments when I read them. Of course writing books are very interesting to me because books that didn't grab me a year or two ago, are often just what I need right now and vice versa.