I have to say I’m struggling with this concept of a brand, as it relates to marketing books and authors. I attended a conference this past week, and in one panel, Whitney Keyes (a very nice lady and author of Propel) said that a brand is not a logo.
That made sense. Up until that moment that’s exactly what I thought a brand was. As in branding a cow. In the two books I have out, there’s a cougar paw print. I’ve used that as my mark, so to speak, and plan on having it in each book. I thought of that as a way to easily identify the series, by having that mark on the spine. A brand, right?
Apparently not. It seems a brand is actually more like a theme, if I’m understanding correctly. How do I want to be perceived, how do I want the books to be perceived. A suggestion was made to think about how you describe yourself as a writer, and pull the key words from that, which then gives you an idea of what your brand can be. I haven’t been able to do that.
This evening a friend and I had a great visit, and during that we talked about an author we both like. Elly Griffiths and her Ruth Galloway series. One of the things I said was that the author has such a sense of place. And I realized that place, land, setting, is vital to me as a reader. It’s also something I’ve always wanted to be able to do as a writer. I want to be able to sink into a place so completely, that the mountains and rivers and forests come alive in the imagination.
That’s the kind of writer I want to be known as. One who has that sense of place, one who can connect a reader to the mountains, through a story. I don’t think I’ve reached that place, but that is what I would strive to be.
I have a vague sense that somewhere in that is a brand. I just haven’t been able to pull it out yet. Until it does, I will have to stick with the cougar print.
How do you perceive brand vs. logo? What would you consider your brand, your sense of self to be?