Author Brand. (Do I have one?)

“Your brand is what other people say about you when you’re not in the room.” (Jeff Bezos)

Over my twenty years in the writing business I’ve never stumbled across the concept of  ‘author brand’ but now that I’ve been doing some research on how to acquire a literary agent I’ve frequently encountered it. So tell me, do I have an author brand?

Literary agent Jessica Fraust at BookEnds suggests you ask yourself what three words people would use to describe you?  What would a publisher say as they try to sell your book?

“She’s incredibly talented.” (Not likely.)

“She’s prolific.” (Definitely not.)

“Her books are light, funny and will have you laughing out loud.” (No, no, and no.)

Jessica Fraust also suggests that a brand is something you should live. Hmm.

“Shelley is self-disciplined.” (Not always.)

“She is hard-working. (Well, maybe sometimes.)

So how would I describe my author self?

“I’m passionate about my work?” (Yes.)

“I’m generous with my time, mentoring new writers, providing manuscript feedback and writing reviews?” (Yes.)

“I’m a voracious reader, belonging to three bookclubs.” (Yes)

Recently a writer friend, Marion Crook, wrote to say, “You have been a courageous writer, tackling difficult subjects, so you’re a social activist I’d say.”

Courageous writer. Social activist. Generous with time. Passionate about writing work. Voracious reader. These are attributes I feel I can claim, but are they my brand?

I’m still working on it.

2 thoughts on “Author Brand. (Do I have one?)

  1. KL Denman

    I too was recently surprised by the suggestion to “brand” myself as an author and can’t quite wrap my head around that. It might work for writers who stay with one genre, but for those who wander where the muse points, it’s not simple.
    That said, I love where you’ve gone with this, Shelley. ” Courageous writer. Social activist. Generous with time. Passionate about writing work. Voracious reader. ” Yes! You might also want to mention being a careful researcher and a compassionate voice for characters placed in very real and challenging situations, making their stories entirely relatable to your readers.

    1. Shelley Hrdlitschka Post author

      Thanks Kim! Your ‘brand’ would be so much like mine… courageous, passionate etc. But you could also add ‘humorous’ and ‘wise’.

Comments are closed.