What’s in a brand?

So hopefully, a few of you have noticed the silence eminating from the blog over the past two weeks.

Part of the problem was Thanksgiving, a class at work, and a lot of travel (to and from Dallas by car).

The other half of the problem is that when you have downtime, you have time to think.

So what have I been thinking about?

In part, now that I’ve had my Facebook page set up for a while, I’ve been thinking about what I spend my time on writing wise and what I should be spending my time on.

A Little History

I started writing on my birthday in 2003.

I had just turned 39 and I realized that I was getting old and that I had talked about writing novels since I was 16.  I also bought a guitar, started drawing, and tried (unsuccessfully) to lose some weight.

Mid-life crisis much?

I drew one half-way decent picture, let my weight continue to fluctuate between 158 and 175, and set my (very nice) guitar in the corner.

But the writing stuck.

The first book was a first person mystery and then I started on a new novel about death, change, and overcoming odds.  I wrote almost every day and loved it.  My family, my friends, and a few people who ended up with copies liked what I wrote.  Some of them were surprised at how good it is.

Five years later, I went to a conference.  The conference was great.

I made some good friends and I also got hit over the head with this thing called “platform.”

Platform’s had me screwed up ever since.

How it’s going

I’ve written a lot of stuff.  Built a platform (at least a little).  And I’ve sort of gotten back on track.

I’ve also wandered a bit from a story point of view.

I’ve written mysteries, a love story, and lots of stories that explore relationships.

It’s been good to explore and fun for a lot of people to read, but it’s got me off kilter.  I haven’t finished a new, full novel in the last five years.

The problem is that I don’t have a brand.

What’s a brand?

I drink Pepsi.  When I went to India, one of the few things that got a picky eater who hates change through two weeks was the fact that I could reliably buy Pepsi from any number of street vendors.

And it tasted very much like the Pepsi that I had in the states.

It was reliable.

When you pick up a Stephen King novel, you know what it is going to taste like.  Yes, taste like.  You can count on that.

It’s not the same for me.

Some days I taste like Sue Grafton, some days like Nicholas Sparks, and lately writing Chantico, I’ve tasted a little like Clive Cussler.

I’ve got to find my brand.

I’ll still be writing, but there will be a few changes.  Hang in there with me if you can.  It won’t take long to find a reliable taste here again.

If you’re a writer, you’ll find some links below that I’ve been looking at in terms of branding.  Check them out.

Links

http://www.eiseverywhere.com/ehome/index.php?eventid=27962&tabid=46402
http://www.darkwaves.com/sfch/writing/ckilian/#foreword
http://www.novelpublicity.com/2011/09/the-importance-of-branding-yourself-as-an-author-stick-to-one-genre-or-else/
http://blog.janicehardy.com/2011/10/guest-author-thea-atkinson-branding.html
http://wheresthesausage.typepad.com/my_weblog/2007/02/writing_a_brand.html
http://garridon.wordpress.com/2011/10/07/how-the-heck-do-you-brand-a-novel/
 

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