How the Heck Do You Brand a Novel?

Non-fiction writers have been preaching to novelists to get a “brand.”  But when the novelists ask how, the non-fiction writers give examples applicable to non-fiction writers.  If you’re a time management guru, the brand is obvious.  But a novel?  How the heck do you brand that?

This is what I think a novel writer’s brand is:

Reader walks into a bookstore and sees a book by Jane Writer.  He’s read Jane’s books before and know that he’ll always get X, Y, Z in her books.


Clive Cussler: A historical aspect involving shipwrecks; political intrigue; lots of action.

Tamora Pierce: Strong girl characters; loves animals.

Not all authors have brands though.  I’ve liked what an author did in a particular book or series, got a different one and not had those same elements.

So I’ve been thinking about what my brand is:

  • Fun action.  Not just fight scenes but other kinds of action.  My action is escapist and entertaining, like what’d you might see at a Saturday matinee.
  • Setting.  My setting is always a character in the story.  It has an impact on every part of the story, from what happens to the feel of the story.  After all, it’s hard doing great action scenes without working the setting.
  • Competent heroines with realistic action scenes for their gender.   My women characters are competent and know what they’re doing.  They play to their strengths.

What’s your brand?