I was taking a look at my Amazon page the other day.
Not that this is something I do especially religiously. I’m not one of those crazy obsessive people who’s constantly checking up on my details. But mainly beacause I’ve just released not one but two different books, I needed to update some details.
Anyway, when I looked at my list of released titles, this is what I saw:
The first impression that I couldn’t avoid was that it looked pretty odd.
What a strange variety of titles I’ve managed to produce. Some are clearly books for children. One is apparently some kind of detective story. A few of them are…well I suspect most people probably wouldn’t have the faintest idea what some of them are meant to be. Sometimes I’m not even sure if I do.
According to most of the accepted wisdom around book marketing, this should be a disaster. After all, aren’t I supposed to be creating a brand for myself? Shouldn’t I be looking to find some level of consistency around my work, so potential readers will have a clear idea of what I am about as a writer? Isn’t genre-hopping one of the worst sins a writer can commit?
Well I say phooey to that. If I can’t write what I enjoy, unchained by the bounds of genre or marketing expectations, then what’s the point? I’m doing this because I want to, and because I enjoy it, not to try to fit into some pre-ordained template for success.
So when I decide the next thing I’m going to write, I don’t look back at my past releases and think, “How can I continue to build my brand?” I write whatever I want to write. Whatever catches my mind at that moment, whatever thrills or excites me, or makes me laugh.
Amidst all the colour and confusion and inconsistency, I like to think there is something in common across all the stories. Whichever book you choose, you’ll be enthused and enthralled and surprised and amused. I hope that’s something they all have in common. You might not know what to expect along the journey, but it will be a journey you’ll definitely enjoy making.
So I’m going to keep on writing my stories, following wherever the creative whims take me, and making sure my Amazon page only gets even more odd. Because if that’s not the best way to build a brand for a writer, I have no idea what is.
Posted by Jonathan Gould and tagged as