Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Unbranded

The most consistent piece of marketing advice given to authors is, "Brand yourself."

Guess what I refuse to do, lol?

I understand the reasoning behind it. It makes perfect sense. Write the same genre/type of story, with a consistent voice, and build a readership who just might follow you into other genres when you're ready. However, for me, there's a problem with that.

If I had to write the same genre or type of story over and over again, I'd go nuts.

The only brand I can give myself is romance writer. I just can't--and frankly, refuse--to limit the romances I write to a particular sexuality. Yes, it's been primarily m/m recently, but that's because I've been satisfying my het needs in stories I'll never sell. That'll change soon, I know. I'm starting to reach my m/m limit. But the thing is, I'm not interested in the specific body parts. I fall in love with the people behind the facades. Those are the love stories I want to do. How can I ignore entire segments of the population, just because of their orientation?

Barring limiting myself by sexuality, I know I could always brand myself in a specific genre, but here, too, I run into the same problem. I get bored. I finish one kind of story, and the last thing I want to do is write another one like it. I can't even read in a single genre. My TBR books are separated out into eight different categories, each equally interesting and entertaining for me, and I never read the same genre consecutively (except when I'm stuck in a series, but that's another issue entirely).

Don't get me wrong. I admire those authors who excel at this. I also recognize everybody is different, their writing needs are different, their goals are different. My one and only goal has ever been to create imaginary worlds. I spent years in theatre and film, performing, shooting, editing. I can't remember a time in my life when I wasn't living in imaginary places.

These stories are my havens. Each one has to be unique, because each serves to satisfy some need of mine. When I'm feeling buoyant, I'll write bantery contemporary. When I'm contemplative, I tend to do historicals. I write a lot of paranormals because I get tired of having to restrain myself to the physics of the real world. The list goes on.

So no matter how much I know I should, I just can't brand myself. I'm not an m/m writer. I'm not a paranormal writer. Sometimes, I even wonder if I'm necessarily a romance writer.

If I'm anything, it's a storyteller.

Now that brand sounds right.

1 comments:

Carolyn said...

I love this post!

And yes I am reading all your posts and finding them very inspiring :).