The Art, or Lack Thereof, of Branding

celtic knotI recently attended a seminar on author marketing. A fledgling seminar, but one that evoked introspection. The presenter talked about world view, framing, audience, using social media, brand/voice, etc. Then there came the dreaded audience participation. She asked for a volunteer to talk about their work in progress, or WIP.

All fingers pointed to me. Did I mention that most, no all, of the people in this seminar belong to the same writing group? Yeah, they were all quick to volunteer me. Thanks a lot.

The question posed: “What is your brand? Why did/do you write what you did/do?

I think several snide and smart ass remarks (mostly aimed at said volunteering friends) flew through my head. I bit my tongue. Why do I write what I write?

ravenI did get one snarky “So I don’t actually do what I write about.” comment in. Referring mostly to my horror short stories and not the paranormal novels in progress.

I thought about my first manuscript, the one that’s shelved for the moment. And, then the novel I’m currently working on. That’s the one I chose. I’m writing it mainly because it’s something that I’ve always wanted to write, the one my daughter told me she thought I would write first. She can now say “I told you so.” every day until I’m ready to publish it. This novel has been incubating for–well, for more years than I want to disclose. I’m not ready to say what it is just yet. All because I’m still thinking about what my brand is and why I’m writing it and anything else I write.

On the surface, my brand is that I believe in the possibility that there is something to myths and legends, something to our tenacious hold on subject matter beyond reality. For me, there is a knowledge at my very core, you could say built into my 529263_438050886289531_2114181660_nDNA, that shapes this interest.

I know I’m being vague, but this seminar really got me thinking and I’m still hashing all this out. Believe me, you’ll know when I do.

In the mean time, what is your brand? Whether you’re a writer or artist or entrepreneur, why do you do what you do?



  1. lisafender said,

    November 4, 2013 at 07:10

    Because I love fantasy fiction, not only in books, but also movies. I love making up my new world of Djenrye and can’t wait to see what’s going to happen next to Stevie!

    • RGCalkins said,

      November 4, 2013 at 07:13

      I know you do, Lisa 😊 and I love your world! Can’t wait for Fated to come out!

  2. Jody Romero said,

    November 5, 2013 at 09:16

    I write what I write because I am intrigued about the subject and I get to learn m

    • RGCalkins said,

      November 5, 2013 at 12:29

      Hi Jody! I know you like to learn about different subjects. I would think you also like to find the humor in life as so much of what you write has a wonderfully fun undertone.

  3. rogersjeanne said,

    November 11, 2013 at 04:50

    Branding yourself is so important RG. I don’t believe it can be over stated. People begin to recognize you, your style and your passion by your brand. The hard part is coming up with a brand, or a tag line that will encompass what you are. For those who are beginning to think about it, first think about who your target audience is, then you can zero in on some ideas and begin to create a brand. Great post! I really enjoyed it. TY!

    • RGCalkins said,

      November 11, 2013 at 06:06

      Thanks for your great comment, Jeanne! I agree that the hardest part is brainstorming how you want to be marketed. I believe I know who my target audience is, now I need to figure out the elusive tag line.

  4. January 7, 2019 at 08:26

    Happy New Year. What are you up to now ? I’m following Lisa Fender.
    Susan Rouchard

    • RGCalkins said,

      January 7, 2019 at 09:29

      Hi Susan and Happy New Year to you as well! I am working toward publishing my first manuscript this year. Although I haven’t posted here in awhile, I intend to resume when I feel the book is closer to publication. I’m also on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram if youd like to connect any of those ways.

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