Thursday, April 24, 2008

Thinking Thursdays - Branding Gone Awry

We authors are told we need to brand ourselves. You know, have our stationary match our website, match our business cards and all of it with some clever tagline that will sell lots and lots of books. Or, so that is the idea.

I think honestly that our books brand us, but that's just me. I'm not dismissing the usefulness of a clever tagline, just saying that readers will buy books and more books because they liked the ones they read before.

And sometimes this branding thing can really mess you up. Take for instance, this logo created for a British government agency. Okay, not only was the logo and frankly their spokeperson's response incredibly funny, I found it mind boggling that they paid the equivalent of $28,000 for three letters that look very much like Arial font put together. I'm sure glad Cissy at Writerspace didn't charge me that kind of change when she designed my new website header/logo. You know?

Do you have a favorite logo, or one that you consider just as big a wanker as the one in the article above? I know I got some flack for my "Not Your Grandmother's Romance" tagline I used to use. (Which I no longer do and will never, ever again - I promise! LOL)

And, tell me...if you were going to create a tagline for Lucy Monroe (it's always funny to write about myself in third person), what would it be?


Amy said...

I really can't think of a tag line. I am hopeless when it comes to writing.

I choose new to me authors from friend's recommendations who has similar taste in reading material. Or, even reading the back of a book to see what the story is about. If the story line sound's interesting I will buy and read the book.

I agree that a authors books is what brands them because Ultimately no logo no matter how good or bad it is can change what is between the pages of the book and what keeps me coming back and buying more of a authors books is what is between the pages of the book I read. I have a number of author's who's books are automatic buys for me. I know I will love the book no matter what it about.

Stacy~ said...

I think branding can be cool if there are many directions to go with it, but sometimes I think it can actually get an author stuck in a rut because the branding can be severely limiting. And you have to worry about becoming outdated.

Nowadays when writers branch out is so many different directions, you need to find something that will accommodate all those personas...unless you decide to have separate websites, which a lot of authors do. I'm curious: of the most popular writers, the best sellers, what is their catchphrase?

Lucy Monroe said...

Amy...see, I do the same thing. Or I'll read a new author because the back cover blurb on the book sounds so interesting. It's hard for me to promote in a direction I don't usually go as a consumer, I guess.'s the thing, most of the really big names in romance don't have taglines or typical branding efforts. But people keep telling me that it's a different world now then when they built their careers. I'm just not so sure.

And when the branding goes wrong, it can be funny - or really bad.

Cryna said...

Hi Lucy

I think that I agree with Amy and that I follow an Author no matter what because it is the writing that counts.

Taglines are okay, but they soon become to the point where you have seen it so many times, that do you really pay attention any more so you would have to keep changing it I would think. I might be wrong.

As for branding I think a lot of Authors do it already with their business cards and things, but I don't think it is something that should be expected. And if the logo or whatever goes wrong, then you are in big trouble. So I think it should be up to the individual and that Author feels good about doing. It is a lot of expense to go through - especially if you are unsure or not happy with the results. And I wonder how much impact it really has on the readers.

I had to laugh when I asked my daughter about a clever tagline, and she replied she didn't have one - she was just all round clever........ROFLOL........said with tongue in cheek.

Lucy Monroe said...

LOL That she is, Cryna!

Brandy said...

I'm awful at taglines. And don't pay too much attention to branding, sorry. I just read what I like, hmmmmm, isn't someone named Lucy Monroe one of my favorites..... *G*

Lucy Monroe said...

ROFLOL Thanks, Brandy!

limecello said...

LOL - I checked the logo before reading the rest of your post, and I guess I need a dirtier mind, because I had to look at it for a bit before I realized what was so funny about the OGC logo.
I'm not good at taglines - and I've been really cheesy all week - a result of stress I think, so what popped into my head first was "Fun, Fresh, and Frisky." Frisky to go with the alliteration, and for the sexy/hot romances.
As to logos... nothing comes to mind right now.

Maureen said...

I don't pay much attention to tag lines but for your books I would say: Feel the emotions on every page.

Lucy Monroe said...

LOL, Limecello...I didn't get it at first either.

Thank you, Maureen! That just made me choke up.

Michele L. said...

I didn't get the logo either! What's up with that?

Well, I have been racking my brains for an appropriate tagline. I do like a challenge. I am an editor so I am always thinking of ways to say something better and more concise. A few words is always the best route to go. Takes up the least room and you can have fun playing with colors, styles, patterns, etc.

O.k. let me think here. Hmm....

-Sassy, sexy stories to treasure!
-Refreshing, risque' romance. One bit and you will be hooked!
-Simply divine romance at its best!
-Refreshing love stories like mint julep!
-Love stories that capture your heart!
-Lustrous romance tales of the heart!
-Luminous love tales that touch the heart!

I like the heart part so I was trying to reword it to something catchy. I think something that captures the essence of how your books grab your heart would be best. Have fun and good luck!

All the best,
Michele L.

Lucy Monroe said...

My first "tagline" was "Passion from the Heart". I still use it on stuff sometimes. I also just had some promo goodies (I love to give stuff away.) done up with "Passion for the Heart", so we're definitely on the same wavelength. LOL

Maybe my problem is I get bored and don't want to use the same stuff all the time. ;-)

Denysé said...

Escape to Passion that will give your heart wings...

That's me done, I'm crap at this stuff, too.

I'd read your grocery list and probably enjoy it, Lucy - you know that! :)

Love, Denyse

Lucy Monroe said...

LOL, THAT is nice to hear. Smooches!