There’s been a lot of discussion among writers as to whether it benefits authors to be branded--by that I mean that writers want to market themselves by promoting their name, associating their name with a particular type, genre or style of writing. The premise? That this is the best way to build a readership. For example, when we see the name Nora Roberts we immediately think of romantic suspense.
Many writers choose to use pen names. They write in a variety of genres and assume a different nom de plume for each. The theory is that it will confuse readers if writers use the same name for different types of work. There is also a tendency for publishers to try to place writers in neat categories. It’s more convenient to connect a name to a particular format.
But what if you resist branding? Are you destroying your chance to be taken seriously as a writer or build a readership? I don’t limit myself to one particular format in my writing. My books are never “in the box.” They’re always unique and different. I confess I like to experiment.
I write historical romance like TEA LEAVES AND TAROT CARDS which isn’t category or “formula” Regency. I write romantic mystery novels like THE INFERNO COLLECTION and THE DROWNING POOL and, coming in May, THE TRUTH SLEUTH. However, I also write books for children like A DEVIL IN THE PINES, books for young adults like the soon be released STACY’S SONG, poems, short stories, nonfiction articles and plays, all under my own name. Will I confuse readers and reviewers? I admit I am something of a maverick who doesn’t take well to branding. Is that a mistake? Does "branding" work well for marketing writers?
Your thoughts, opinions and comments are most welcome!