Saturday, November 17, 2007

Author Branding

I've been trying to decide what my brand will be as an author. It's important for readers to know what to expect when they pick up a particular author's book. But as a creative person, I'm reluctant to brand myself so that I'm limited to writing only one kind of genre. I can write in more than one genre or subgenre.

What to do?

Some authors write under different pen names. Jane Anne Krentz writes contemporaries, but historicals under Amanda Quick. Nora Roberts writes contemporary romances, but thriller mysteries under J.D. Robb. She's become so popular as Nora Roberts that they're now putting both names on some of her books. Now her pen name seems pointless.

I don't want to be limited to one genre, but neither do I want to write under a pen name. I love writing historicals. I will always write historicals, but I thoroughly enjoyed the contemporary I just finished much more than I thought I would. That means I might want to write another one. (smiling)

While research is necessary and a project I happen to enjoy, authors often hear people telling us to write what we know. I know the Carolinas. I've spent so much time researching my family history here that I can tell you all about the people that populated North and South Carolina from 1700 to the present day. I know our culture, accent, southern phrases, food, religion, tourists spots, did I mention our history?

I'm doing a lot of praying and seeking God on what my brand should be. Once I start to promote my brand, I will be stuck with it for a while, so I want to make sure it is the right brand for me. Our writer's retreat sparked these new ideas and I'm moving forward with them. I'm creating a new website, plotting new stories (as if I didn't already have enough), but I will wait until the right time to roll it out. Timing is everything. It may not be meant for this year or even next year. I'm seeking God for his guidance on timing.


  1. Jenn,
    What a great subject. I haven't thought too much about it, but I probably should. I know what I love to write....but I haven't stuck with that always.
    I'm interested to hear other opinions on this subject.

  2. I have no idea where to start when it comes to branding. You are such a prolific writer, Jenn. I think it's great you are expanding your business in this way. You're seeking a way to be unique and moving forward, continuing to write - a true professional.

    Please keep us informed on what you come up with! And the new website!

  3. Sounds like a great idea, Jenn! You have so much you can draw from in your stories. Plus the built-in readership! But I think you're wise to wait and makes sure it's what you want to do.


  4. Thanks everyone! I blogged today about when Robert the Bruce granted the barony of Loch Awe to the chief of the Campbells, which had traditionally been MacGregor land. This caused a war between the Campbells and MacGregors. In 1603, King James VI abolished the MacGregor name, meaning those who carried the name must renounce it or suffer death. Thus, my family became the Gregorys and we migrated to the Carolinas. I'd really love to write something with this premise. I posted a photo of my ggg-grandfather.