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Tuesday, March 20, 2007
I finally joined a real live RWA chapter this weekend. Went to the chapter meeting, where we talked about how to make media interviews work for you. Essentially, keep your eye on the prize. You control the message.

Branding was mentioned. Not the moo cow kind, either.

Intellectually, I understand the importance of creating a brand. Something that, as soon as readers see your name, they know what kind of story they're going to get. The biggest names don't even have a brand stated in so many words. If you pick up Jenny Cruisie or Nora Roberts or Sherrilyn Kenyon, you know what you're going to get. They don't need a marketing slogan anymore.

But the rest of us? Need a brand. Something to set us apart from the pack.

So what's my brand? The Divas have been helping me out. The same words or ideas are mentioned over and over when people describe my writing.

It appears that my overstated caffeine addiction sticks in people's minds, which I find amusing.

Also, I seem to write in paradoxes. Intense story/funny voice. My titles are often a little paradoxical, too. Not Quite Dead. The Virgin Courtesan. I like those twists.

People call me quirky. Sassy (For some reason, I've never liked that word. It's like "feisty." I hate feisty.) Southern (natch). Smart. Witty. Snarky.

The key is finding a phrase that encompasses those themes. I just haven't been able to put them together in a clever way yet. Doesn't say much for my wit, does it?
3/20/2007 09:46:00 AM : : Sela Carsen : : 13 Comments


I forgot. Gwen Hayes came up with "Practical Whimsy." Of the many wonderful suggestions I've recieved, that's one I like a lot.

By Blogger Sela Carsen, at 10:35 AM  

Oooo I like Practical Whimsy!! Could be because of my Lord Peter Wimsey obsession ;-)

You could try 'bolshy'?? Eccentric??

I'm not helping am I? ;-)

By Blogger Biddy, at 11:01 AM  

Lord Peter?

I used to think I was.

Then an agent told me to read Dorothy L. Sayers.

Don't know why. She laid an egg or two as well.



By Anonymous Anonymous, at 12:12 PM  

I love Lord Peter Wimsey. He's got so many wonderful layers!

Whimsy. An underutilized word. I'll have to work it into the brand somehow.

Bolshy, on the other hand.... *gg*

By Blogger Sela Carsen, at 12:30 PM  

The problem is a lot of authors use the same adjectives over and over. Everyone uses sassy. A lot of people say things like "sassy paranormal romance--with a twist!" WTF does that even mean?

Good luck finding the right one for yourself. Keep in mind that the names you mentioned, specifically Nora, don't all necessaily stick to one basic theme. The brand is more about the writer than the work.

By Blogger Jaye Wells, at 1:21 PM  

But Nora and Jenny Crusie and Sherrily Kenyon didn't really come up with their brands on their own.

Their publishers "brand" the look of their books, which is something that we smaller people don't neceassrily have the option to do. So even if we brand ourselves, do the readers notice?

That said, I like Practical Whimsy!

By Blogger Emma Sinclair, at 1:48 PM  

Diet Coke and Skittles. Pretty much describes me perfectly.

Nora,Crusie and Kenyon marketed the hell out of their brand. Kenyon had the website up before the first hunter book was even contracted.

By Blogger FerfeLaBat, at 6:07 PM  

Talking about your 'brand', I always think of the girl on your Not Quite Dead cover. I would expect to see that face if I ever met you! LOL!! :)

By Anonymous Toni Sue, at 9:45 PM  

I hates "fiesty" too.
The others are over-used slang.Lazy.
Attractive opposites...

By Blogger Bernita, at 7:50 AM  

Oh yeah, I HATE branding. The only things binding my stories together are my voice and wit. Other than that I'm all over the shop. How can you brand when you're a bouncing ball?

ps. sorry I called you sassy. :-0

By Blogger Babe King, at 8:17 AM  

LOL Toni Sue -- I wish!

*smooches* Babe! I don't mind! I don't even know why I don't like sassy. It's just one of those words, y'know? I always get this image of someone flinging their hair around. LOL

Feisty's the same way, only with red hair. *gg*

Yep, voice and wit. But it's the voice and the wit that I need to brand and market. It's not about paranormal or historical (eek!) or contemp.

By Blogger Sela Carsen, at 9:59 AM  

More clever than sassy, I would say. Also well-read. Streetwise in genre land!


By Anonymous islandgrovepress, at 11:39 AM  

Sela, you're like Lauren Bacall in a room full of giggling starlets.

How's that for branding?

By Blogger Robin L. Rotham, at 1:40 AM  

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