Hmmm. I've been in the business for a long time (a dozen published novels and three works of non-fiction) and I've spent very little time (perhaps my sales reflect this!) thinking about marketing. I think I've been one of the writers guilty of thinking my job was to write the book and someone else's job was to market it.
Evidently, this isn't true. The scariest thing I heard in the seminar was a description of how a salesperson goes out to meet a bookseller. He or she pulls their top novel out of a large bag containing all of their titles and brags about that particular author. Then perhaps another novel gets a named mention and the remainder get dropped on the table in a load.
I didn't like hearing that. I'm sure most of what I do (and have spent the best part of a year doing for each individual book) is dropped on the table with little mention.
So what can I do? It doesn't really seem like a Biblical concept to strive to get people to like me, does it? But of course, if I'm reflecting Christ in my life, and he's beautiful, I think people will be attracted to that somehow.
They said you need to figure out what your brand is and pretty much stay true to your brand. A brand (like Coca Cola, hence the logo) will be what I do best, or at least help my reader know exactly what to expect.
What should readers of Kraus fiction expect? (I'm figuring out my brand here, so bear with me). Contemporary. A real person struggling with some major life issue. A grace encounter. A medical "stripe" of realism in the story somewhere. Drama. Suspense. And a little romance.
That's what I write.
But is it my brand?
I don't expect you to know, 'cause I haven't got this figured out yet either. If you've got it together, let me know.
I've been thinking of one of the other contexts for branding: putting the ownership mark of a ranch on the backside of a cow. Looks painful. If someone was going to put a hot iron brand on the cover of one of my novels, what would it say?
I'm thinkin' it should just be a nice "G".
"G" for grace.
Yea. I'm liking that.