There is currently a lot of talk amongst authors about branding, what is it? do I want it? how do I get it?
At the recent ACFW Conference, Agent Chip MacGregor of MacGregor Literary, taught a workshop on creating a brand. Wouldn't you know it? My two appts collided with this workshop time and I wasn't able to go to it. Good thing I have the recording to listen to later.
While I grasped the basics of branding, as with most things, I finally 'got it' when I had a concrete example placed in my hot little hands. Saturday, Sept. 20th, I was at the Mall of America for the GINORMOUS book signing at the Best Buy Rotunda. Over 120 authors were signing their books and giving interviews and taking pictures. It was a tremendous day for Christian Fiction.
While there, I was browsing the Barnes and Noble (who sponsored the book-signing event) and my little eyes fell upon a brand spanking new Dick Francis novel. I RUSHED over and snatched it up, then turned to Georgiana Daniels and said, "I don't even care what this book is about. I'm buying it because it is the new Dick Francis."
Plink! The penny dropped. THAT is a brand. I knew what I would find in that book simply because Dick Francis had written it. A tough hero in an interesting job that has some connection with steeplechase racing in Britain. A moral dilemma, physical danger, a puzzle to solve, and a smash-bang finish that leaves me wanting to read another Dick Francis work as soon as possible. That's his brand, and he didn't disappoint me.
Which leaves me wondering. Someday, will someone pick up one of my books and say, "I don't care what this book is about, it's the newest Erica Vetsch, and I have to have it." Wouldn't that be cool?
How about you? Do you have an author (or more than one) that you snatch up hot off the shelves simply because you have to have their work?