Monday, August 07, 2006

Branding--Where is my writing going?

Let me explain branding in case you are not familiar with the term.

You go into a bookstore and see the latest Mary Higgins Clark. Without even looking at the back of the book, you scoop it up and run to the cash register. Or the latest Sue Grafton. Or Tom Clancy. Or Karen Kingsbury.

You know these authors. You're familiar with their work and you know what types of books they write. And you like what you read. That's branding. You don't just like a book written by Tom Clancy. You like Tom Clancy and can't wait for his next release.

That's where I am at this point in my career. I can't decide how I want to brand myself. Should I focus on mysteries, which I love? I aspire to someday be compared to Mary Higgins Clark. My latest books have been contemporary women's fiction. I also love historicals. I have two books in mind that would even be categorized as westerns. How's that for a stretch? I've even written the first mystery in a series for middle-grade readers.

I suppose it's good that I'm diversified in my career. But alas, branded writers traditionally sell better than those who write all over the map. So what to write while I'm looking for the niche in which I feel most comfortable. I love experimenting and combining genres, ie; romantic suspense or western/romance. I've noticed romance goes well with anything. But we already knew that.

At this point, I'm open to anything. When I'm ready to start a new project, I try to be quiet before the Lord and listen for what He wants. If I begin a project with His blessing, I figure it won't be a blind alley that won't lead someplace fascinating. That's the most fun about this writing journey. I never know where I'll end up.

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