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  1. #1
    Rogue Mutt
    Guest

    Lightbulb The Power of a Brand

    From my blog:
    Last month I read The Hemingway Thief by Shaun Harris. At one point early in the book the author who is the main character is considering killing off his pseudonym and writing under his own name. His agent strongly disagrees. The author then goes on to say this:

    The hardest thing to achieve in publishing is a recognizable brand. There are so many authors out there that the average reader has time to give a **** about. To most readers, books are like potato chips; you go with the brand you like. It's why new writers clamor all over themselves to get a blurb from a recognizable author.
    This seems pretty true to me. Most people if they find an author they like, they'll stick with it. There are a few authors I prefer above others: John Irving for starters, Lawrence Block for another. And most people have their favorites too.

    Series, or even the authors, are like movie franchises: every publisher wants to have a big one just like every movie studio wants a franchise like, say, the Marvel superhero universe. Why else is DC/WB trying so hard to get their universe off the ground? Why do they keep turning crappy YA dystopian series into movies? Because if they get the next big hit it means billions in movies and merchandise, plus inevitable reboots, prequels, spinoffs, etc. It's the proverbial cash cow.

    Unfortunately, franchises like Harry Potter or authors like Stephen King are extremely rare. Which as that quote above says is why agents don't want to let those things go. It's why they get so desperate as to do **** like publishing the same book from a different point of view or publishing the same story with gender swapped characters or exploiting an old woman on her deathbed to publish a first draft.

    It's why I've been doing what I've been doing for a while now. I'm not anywhere near Harry Potter or Stephen King territory, but it's better than I was doing, so I keep with it. As they say in Bull Durham: Never fool with a winning streak.



  2. #2
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Posts
    1,142
    You're right, brand is so important in so many endeavors. For years my wife and I manufactured consumer products for sale nationwide--from specialty stores to big boxes to department store chains. Building a brand is a tough slog; maintaining it is no easier. But it's what differentiates you from the mass of competitors. And there's not a day off; you have to offer something new at every market cycle, or the buyers forget you exist.

  3. #3
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2016
    Posts
    13

    Oh dear...

    Couldn't agree more! I wish that readers will try not-so-famous brands sometimes... It can be really frustrating.

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