Okay. I don’t mean eating a McDonald’s sandwich while drinking a Burger King shake or wearing Nike’s while wearing an Adidas sweatshirt. In the writing world, your “brand” determines what type of author you in: basically, what type of books you write.
Now a lot of writers write one type of book, like horror, scifi, memoir, crime fiction, etc. They build up an audience and then write more books in that area.
Then the writer thinks “gee, it would be swell if I could write a DIFFERENT type of book! Nothing wrong with that, right??”
I discovered that it’s actually frowned upon by the publishing community.
“But I have a fan base!”
True… except in the eyes of a publisher, your fan base is only in the area that you usually write.
For example, I write science fiction, but I also have written a detective novel as well. The publishing world believes that my scifi fans will only follow me if I write scifi, because that’s what they like.
From a publishing point of view, it makes sense.
So how does an author get around this?
There are a few things a writer can do.
1) Write under a different name for each genre.
2) Self publish your new books.
3) Try to find a publisher willing to work with you based on your work, not your fanbase.
These may not seem like the fairest of options, but to someone whose job it is to sell your work, they need to make sure they are doing their job the best they can.
Or is it all just a bunch of b.s. and they should just publish your stuff?!
I personally don’t have a problem with using multiple names (for example, I already sing under the name “Renee Kole” and plan to publish my children’s books under a different name tbd). But maybe that’s just because my fanbase isn’t in Stephen King’s range. Yet. :)
What do YOU think? Do you think publisher’s should be happy that author’s want to cross brands? Or does it seem fair that they only want to represent the works they know will sell?
(*photo courtesy of fineartamerica)