Saturday, May 05, 2007

Branding

I was over at Kate R's blog after reading her comment over here.
She has an interesting interview up with a best selling author.
The best selling author is telling Kate that her success is owed to LUCK and to BRANDING.
All sorts of images came to mind.
- A hefty cowgirl being singled out of the pack, tossed to the ground and branded with a red-hot iron. 'Romance Best Seller!' - Right on her plump rear.
- A woman wrapped in shiny cellophane, with heart-shaped pink labels advertising romance stuck in strategic places, a bright smile firmly pasted on pink lips. (not too much lipstick - we said romance, not erotica.)
- Betty Crocker. (All right, silly, I know, but whenever I think of branding I think of Betty Crocker. This time she's not holding a cookbook, she's holding a romance book, and she's wearing rhinestone festooned glasses.)

After the images came to mind, my mind (in typical Sam fashion) rebelled. I've always been a good girl striving desperately for a 'bad girl' image, lol. What? Branded? And you can't express any opinions? And you must be careful not to project any other image except that of your books??

(Already I'm starting to feel schizophrenic - I write erotica, mainstream, and YA fiction, science fiction, high fantasy, contemporary, urban fantasy, historical and paranormal...what on earth kind of brand would I get? I'm guessing it won't be pink and heart-shaped.)

I have strong opinions about things. I'm also open minded and can be swayed by a good argument. I love a good argument. But that's not the point of this blog. You can't really have a good argument on a blog - you can only post your opinions, get misunderstood, get into hot water, and decide it's better to stick with recipes by Betty Crocker.
But the best selling author did have a point when she insisted on having a good image. I just suppose that the last thing I want (sorry) is to be branded as a romance writer. It's too limited for me. For one thing, I do many things better than writing romance, and other things are more important to me.
I put so many things before my writing that it would really bother me to be branded. Think of me as one of those old steamer suitcases which has traveled all over the world, and has stickers in all sizes, shapes and colors from everywhere, in different languages, all over it. That's more like it.

As for the LUCK part - well, that's out of my hands, isn't it?
;-)

UPDATE:
Kate R. has told me that while I'm mentioning her blog, I better mention her Flipping Contest - so here it is: (click HERE) Now run along and enter her flipping contest!
It sounds pretty easy - just ask her for any of her books (except Taming Him, which I've already read Anyhow) and then post a review of it on your blog. (Good, bad, or whatever.) I like Kate's writing, so this is a contest I will actually Enjoy, lol.

9 comments:

Bernita said...

Oh, oh, Sam!
The round rump + branding iron is always the image that occurs to me too!
And I agree. Couldn't one be branded by something above genre?

Oopsy Daisy said...

I think she forgot to put "good writing" in the list of what a best selling author needs. You can have all the luck and branding you want but if you can't write well then people aren't going to come back.

And you, I have to say, are a very good writer. How do I know? Last evening I sat in my local Borders reading one of your stories from start to finish. "Darla's Valentine". It was SO FUNNY! Well it was pretty hot too. But it had such a well blended mix humor and ... hotness, that I couldn't put it down. I sat there laughing out loud in the cafe as I read. Every now and then I would gasp in suprise as Darla did something nutty like get her g-string tangled up in Jordon's belt buckle in front of his fiance. And when the sausage popped out I gasped out loud and started laughing. It was such a fun story to read. I loved it! I'm looking forward to reading more of your stuff, in all genre's.

Thanks for the laugh!

Sam said...

I do know of a couple authors who have managed to avoid branding - Lynn Viehl goes from sci-fi to paranormal romance and does it beautifully. Other authors have multiple pennames.

But I think a certain ammount of branding is inevitable.

Sam said...

Daisy!! Thank you for the kind words!!
I'm so glad you liked Darla - she's one of my favorite gals!

Verilion said...

Funny images you paint there Sam. And the point you make about having a good argument on a blog is very true. Now where can I find Darla's Valentine?

Kate R said...

One of the bitches suggested putting book titles on those sweat pants attractive girls wear over their round rumps.

Daisy. You are so ENTIRELY right about the writing. (My pal and I like each others' writing so that wasn't not an issue. She doesn't read my Summer stuff though)

Lynn has worked hard at her blog and has branded herself as knowing what the hell she's talking about.

I can't imagine trying to brand a bunch of pseudonyms, not to mention you'd have to do somethinkg close to lying.

OH, Jeez Sam, if you're going to mention my blog, you should mention the flipping contest and thus get yourself entered in the flipping contest.

Sam said...

Verilian - you can find Darla's Valentine over at Ellora's Cave in e-book form, or in 'Fever Hot Dreams' - a paperback anthology published by Simon and Schuster.

If you're looking for a good book (Daisy and Bernita and Verilian) head over to Kate's blog and sign up for her contest - she writes really well, and if I had to brand her, I'd brand her 'Terrific'!

Kate R said...

Thanks, Sam!! Futurelove is on its way.

huh--look at that. So often my writing could use a good editor. I mean.."each others' writing so that wasn't not an issue"

Eh? what?

Rosie said...

I get what BSAF meant about branding and (paraphrasing) flying under the radar, I just don't think all personalities are suited to it. Also, I think sometimes readers aren't given enough credit to separate a writer's personality from their work. Not everyone choses their reading material based on "Authors Behaving Badly".

It would be dumb to pass up a good book because I don't agree with the writer's personal opinions, political or otherwise.

How I do go on sometimes... I think I'll go enter Kate's contest. I haven't read any of her books before and I like her chutzpah.