Thursday, September 1, 2011


Nathan Bransford delivers with a great article today attacking the notion of branding. I found myself nodding along with each and every word.  It's a good read for any aspiring writer, and he provides some great, down-to-earth examples to illustrate his point.

For my part, this is exactly what I've been trying to put into practice.  I understand the business reasons behind "creating a brand," but I don't necessarily believe they're all applicable in today's rapidly changing environment.  If fact, they can backfire as well.  As Nathan says, you'll likely fair much better by simply being you.

That's what I'm trying to do.  I believe my stories and writing speak for themselves.  I want people supporting me because that believe in that, not because I've convinced them I'm something I'm not.  How fulfilling would that be?

Furthermore, most of us writers are not doing this as our day job yet.  Time is at a premium.  If there's one thing I've learned about lying over the ages, it's that it takes time.  Lots of time.  Start weaving webs, and pretty soon you have a messy tangle to keep track of. 

I feel like if I were trying to be something I'm not, if I were overly concerned about presenting some facade... boy would that be exhausting.  I'd rather spend that time and energy in my writing, and hopefully that shows.  Any "brand" I create along the way is simply a result of letting my voice ring out, and sharing it with y'all.  To me, that's how it should be.  My brand is me.  Hopefully, it's a brand that engenders trust.  Trust that you're getting my genuine best, and trust that I'm doing everything I can to learn and improve over time.

It's an idealism that probably would have been scoffed at in years past.  These days?  Truth sells.  Interesting that, for all the faults we attribute to the Internet, this should be the case. 


Nadja Notariani said...

Cheers! I agree...creating a 'brand' sounds exhausting. Think I'll stick to plain-old me. Much easier to keep track
Besides, you're just as likely to create a 'brand' that will eventually fade out of popularity. Then all that 'working' and 'wheeling-and-dealing' will have been for naught. ~ Nadja

Matt said...

Yeah, though I can understand how the approach might not work for everyone. Some people have very good reasons to hide behind a brand.

Nadja Notariani said...

Hey! Just getting around to reading your comment to my comment...(Boy that's
I suppose if you're a troll, you might want to create a fake personality for
I don't mind the idea of a pen-name and such. In fact, I prefer it. I like the idea of a 'hedge-of-privacy'. But one should never be someone/something that they are not. 'Be true to thine self', is good advice, I'd say. ~ Nadja

Matt said...

Yeah, it just doesn't work well in the long run, generally. Though maybe for some topical non-fiction books it might make more sense. Like what if you're writing a book about investing on Wall Street... play-acting as a computer might lend you credibility. Then again, it can backfire if it turns out you actually are a computer... hmm... :-)

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