Branding – not just for cattle

Branding irons-Dutch K c and kEveryone has heard about branding. That’s what a candy bar company does when they want you to buy their product. A particularly yummy peanut butter based candy knows that my family will buy lots of whatever it puts its familiar logo on.

We are their ideal customer base. We trust what they put that logo on, and we consume…too much of it. Don’t believe me? Just ask my doctor. He’d tell you if he wasn’t strangled by legislation. Even restrained as he is, ask and look into his eyes. You’ll see the truth.

But I digress.

An author needs to think about branding just like any other business.

“But I’m an artist!”

Yes, you are. And you’re a good one. And people will read your work and will want to read more like it. How will they find it?

If you’re prolific, they’ll find it based on your name.

But then if you’re at all like me, your writing frizzles into different genres. Writers are blessed: we get to pick our own names.

In this long respected tradition, writers can use a pen name. Whether you let people KNOW it is a pen name or not — that’s up to you. But it allows you to separate your westerns from your science fiction romances.

There’s a bonus that goes along with this picking: a writer’s website and web presence should be linked to their name.

Everyone wants great rankings on a search engine, right?

Before picking your pen name, run a search through your favorite search engine on your desired name. Pick one you love the sound of. One people can pronounce. If you come up with a well known porn star like one of my friends did, maybe it is time to consider a different name. If you come up with the search engine equivalent of a blank stare, you’ve struck pay dirt! Register that domain name and get back to writing. Your job is done.

Well, not really…but it is started in the right direction and started strong.

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