A Pet Psychic, A Gentleman, and an Exorcist Walk Into A Bar
One of the difficulties with so many different characters is finding a common thread that runs through the various books that can be used to solidify an author brand. What is an author brand?
When you hear Joanna Fluke, you think mysteries and baking. And vise versa.
An author, when coming up with a brand, also needs to consider his or her target market. I've never mastered that one. Most mystery readers are women, so I should try to determine who would like my books by age group and other demographics. Let see an example of how well that works.
I took a screenwriting class in Chicago. I wrote a scene that took place in a small town post office, and a confused, elderly lady at the front of the line was driving the impatient protagonist mad. The person who laughed the loudest was a young, black man. I would have picked the suburban-looking white women as my target audience, but her slight smile seemed reluctant. So much for stereotyping your audience.
Another trick to finding your brand is to brainstorm words that come to mind when describing your books or characters. Unintentionally funny due to the circumstances and people they are surrounded by. In other words, you and me. That doesn't narrow it down very much.
|Could this be the next |
JA Konrath has said that if you want to sell books, write more books. That I can do. I've slowly built up 4 novels, a traditionally published novella, and 4 short stories. Oh, yeah. And a children's book. If my timetable holds out, I'll have Civility Rules, my Harlow Brothers mystery, and the third pet psychic mystery out before the end of the year, and the Father McAllister mystery out at the beginning of 2016.
So what should I do about my brand? I'd solicit feedback from other people on what words they thought best represented my books and characters, but if anyone used the word sassy to describe Frankie Chandler or Roxanne Wilder, I'd throw myself out the window. (It doesn't matter that I live in a one-story. It's the intent that counts.)