Branding began at the turn of the century when a smart marketer decided he wanted to distinguish his goods from another company offering the same products.

It wasn’t until the 1940s when through the introduction of radio that manufacturers began understanding the power of branding and incorporating it into their product sales.

A classic example of Branding is Kleenex which is actually the name of the company which produces tissues. The name of this company has become so interchangeable with the product that we often ask for a Kleenex instead of a tissue.

Today, Branding or simply the Brand is big business and has evolved to include a company’s tag lines, its images, its fonts and even the sounds associated with it.

Branding includes your name, your logo and any advertising slogan you utilize to promote yourself. Your brand becomes symbolic with your products, the books you offer.

Branding who you are as an author and more important, having readers instantly know your name and the type of books you write.

Branding doesn’t just happen. It can be influenced by advertising, public relations, and marketing strategy you use to create, manage and maintain your Brand. For instance when I release a press release, I'll always refer to myself as romantic-suspense author.

I am likened in reviews to Agatha Christie and have been also linked with Nora Roberts on Amazon and other online book stores. (Always makes me blush) but you know then that Linn Random writes mystery and romantic suspense with unexpected plot twists and turns.

Stephen King is synonymous with horror. John Grisham is synonymous with legal thrillers.

So in essence, when we talk about an author brand we are talking about an image or perception of the author.

To develop your brand, you must first define who you are and what you write.

You are more than just for example a mystery writer. Go deeper. Do you write urban gothic, medical thrillers, or a mix of all genres with a mystery theme? What makes you unique? Give yourself time and thought on how to build your brand.

Once you know who you are, you will want to incorporate your Brand into all your marketing efforts. This includes your website, your logo, the message conveyed in interviews, reviews and promotion.

If you visit my website, you can follow my romantic suspense-mystery theme in my logo, my music and the overall look and feel to my website.

If you write romantic comedy, have fun with your look and your Brand; make it light, bright and colorful. If you write for the erotic market, for heaven’s sake, spice it up in all your promotions.

As you grow as an author, you will also want your Brand to grow with you.

Always remember your Brand is also your personal commitment to your readers. It’s your promise to always deliver a high quality books that will leave them wanting more. Your Brand may be established or take months to develop but its you and your writing style.

In the coming months, our hosts here at Coffeetime have some exciting seminars planned and I hope you all attend.

The next seminar is Nuts and Bolts of Writing Better with host Robyn Dehart and Creating a Personalized Author Marketing Plan with host Kayelle Allen and how to Create, Living, Breathing, Loveable Characters with host Kathleen O’Reilly with more planned!

Its going to be an exciting year and I hope you all stick around and grow as the wonderful authors you are.

Thank you all for attending Suspense 101, I hope you all enjoyed it as much as I have sharing with you the elements of developing and writing a great mystery!

Write me anytime with further questions or thoughts on the class. You can always contact me through my website

Thank you for those who wrote and those who read. Your presence is appreciated!

With deep gratitude,