Sunday, April 8, 2012

Branding--just say no?

I know many writers worry about branding, which I understand as promoting your fiction in a certain way so readers can think of it as a brand. Should we worry? It may be helpful in the sale of fiction but I wonder if we, as writers, should allow ourselves to think of our work as a certain brand. I mean, I'd hate to feel that I have to write a certain way in a certain genre just because someone has said my brand is X. What if I want to write Brand Y or Brand Z this time around? As a reader, I like to read science fiction, fantasy, realistic fiction, magical realism, and all kinds of fiction that mixes these and other genres. I am often drawn to fiction that is genre bending, in fact. So as a writer I'm going to write different kinds of fiction. I love the feeling of starting a new novel and not knowing exactly where it will go. I love trying different things. I realize the idea of branding is just a way to attract readers and, lord knows, there's nothing wrong with that. However, as a writer, I don't want to get too cozy with the idea that my work fits neatly into a "brand". I want to be open to write what excites me. Or so I think today.

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