Notes from An Alien

~ Explorations In Reading, Writing & Publishing ~

Tag Archives: maverick

#AuthorBranding ~ Is It Worth Considering?


Author Branding

Image Courtesy of justus kindermann ~ http://www.freeimages.com/photographer/ackinderma-44705

Since Author Branding is something people talk about when they’re also talking about making money, I’ll share a bit from something I wrote last year about writers making money:

Many of you know I’m a maverick, in my writing and in the promotion I do… 

And, it seems apropos to share the etymology of “maverick” from my Oxford English Dictionary:

“Samuel A. Maverick (1803–70), Texas engineer who owned but did not brand cattle.”

Branding is all the rage now for self-published authors—come on, get on the brandwagon—cereal is branded, cigarettes are branded, underwear is branded—why not books?

Well, I don’t brand myself or my books because I don’t brand my cattle—I’m a Maverick…

But, whenever I use myself as the example to lend credence to a particular opinion about the BookWorld, I like to back it up with another person’s opinion

For today’s post, I chose Kelli Russell Agodon — poet, writer, editor, book designer, and co-founder of Two Sylvias Press.

Here are some excerpts from Kelli’s article, You Are Not a Brand. . . Why Writers & Artists Should Not Be Limited By Those Who Want to Define Us:

“I have heard about this ‘create your brand’ and ‘you must have a platform’ at a few writer’s conferences I’ve been at, but I thought it was something trendy like bedazzling your jeans — I thought it would be seen as ridiculous and then fade away, but it seems not to be the case.”

“It kills my spirit to hear writers and artists being talked about as if we were corporations with logos and mottos and theme-songs.”

“It feels as if it’s another way for people who don’t really write to sell things to writers: ‘Be Your Own Best Brand! How to Create Your Brand for only $295. Build Your Brand BEFORE the Book!'”

Jumping in to register my hearty agreement that Branding is a way to suck money and time from author’s lives

Just a few more excerpts from Kelli:

“When I hear sentences like this one (one that almost makes me weep): ‘Brand-building is constant. It should always be in the back of your mind’, what I want to say in response is: Writing is constant and should always be in the back of your mind.”

” I know I can’t let myself be put in that box. I am not a Twinkie. You are not a Ding-Dong (okay, you could be a ding-dong, but I don’t know that for sure). But you are definitely not a Twinkie, that I know.”

If you’re not a writer and you’ve read this far, you must know a writer (or, actually be one deep down…)—tell them about Kelli’s article and recommend they visit her blog: Book of Kells
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Being A “Troublemaker” . . .


Since my focus here is on Reading, Writing, and Publishing, I want folks to know that I’m a maverick when it comes to all three.

I read to feed my Muse, not to entertain myself or meet others’ expectations or gain social talking-points.

I write and publish to feed the reader, not to make money or prove some point or gain fame.

I’ve done some explaining of those rationales and will undoubtedly do more.

Being the way I am, some see me as a “troublemaker”.

Amy Sundberg recently wrote the post, Becoming a Troublemaker.

You would do well to click through and read her thoughts.

Here’s a little bare bit:

“What I am coming to realize is that conflict isn’t always inherently bad, even on an interpersonal level. It can bring about much-needed change; it can allow us to finally find our voices. It can open up channels of communication, help us discover and create new opportunities, and allow us to stand up for ourselves when we’re being treated poorly.”

Reading books that cause conflict can be good for the soul.

Writing books that explore conflict can be healing.

Publishing books that conflict with traditional genres, styles, and expectations can cause some productive “Trouble” :-)
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