I am Janet. A beloved daughter, a good wife, a mother who loves her kids, a grandmother who enjoys my role...and I am a brand.
That last part sits on my head like a rubber-chicken hat. I look silly, but no one will tell me - no one but a good friend.
Last month I got my seventh rejection letter from an agent. I never thought I'd be rejected by any literary agents. After all, these are MY PEOPLE - deep in the literary movement...providing literature to the masses. Agents, as I understood them, made it possible for people like me to enter the sanctuary of the (*gasp*) publishing houses without getting kicked out because I don't have a degree or know the secret handshake.
Now these beloved agents (all of whom I'm sure have evil laughs and talk about authors behind their backs) say the same thing: you write well, but it's not for us. Continue to seek out the right representation and ...have you branded yourself as an author?
I check my behind for the burned-in "A" for author, and NOPE...it's not there.
To understand branding, for a girl like me (who winces at the word "business") it is important to understand why they are important to what I love to do.
A brand is the idea or image of a something that consumers connect with. Let me give you an example - an apple with a bite taken out of (which side?) signifies Apple Inc., Steve Jobs' business venture he stared in the 1980's. The BITE is on the left hand side. I bet you got it right. Want an easier one? What is the brand of McDonald's? The "golden arches" is what we were taught to call it as children - by McDonalds. I was an adult before I thought their hamburgers weren't all that good - but I had already been programmed to enjoy their convenience, their same condiments, their drive-thru, etc.
Branding is when that idea or image is marketed so that it is recognizable by people, and identified with what that brand represents. Branding is THE MOST important part of Internet commerce.
When working on branding, coordinating domain names and brand names are an important part of finding and keeping visitors and clients, as well as branding a new company. Coordination of a domain name lends identification to me as an author, which in turn "establishes me as a brand". I lease the domain "Brazen Princess" - renewable once a year. Want to see how it works? Google "Brazen Princess" and I am the first four hits - at least.
I also have to encourage a following, which is why so many of you have heard from me. God help me as I try to get my book published, I thought it would be as easy as them opening the manuscript, taking one look at it and falling in love.
I mean, really... That's kind of how my life has gone until now.
*winking over my glasses*