I played the Harry Potter Clue game earlier tonight. If you like the regular Clue, you’ll love this version as it adds a few extra wrinkles such as moving passageways and Hogwartz House Points. I don’t own it but some friends do. Why did they buy it? Well, they’re fans of both Harry and Clue, but the term that came to my mind was “branding.”
They wanted it because it was, ah-ha, Clue and Harry Potter. Branding is important for prospective authors to consider. It’s not that you get pigeonholed, stereotyped, etc., but well, you do. Your first work defines you in the industry and to your readers. As I look to write more books, I recognize that I want to build an authoring ‘brand’ within a certain genre. My genre is historical fantasy as I plan on writing more and more novels based on the characters in Greek mythology. Hopefully, over the years, I’ll build a loyal following of folks who like the way I tell the story and my ‘type’ of settings and so on. This will be the D.A. Riser brand.
Branding is a conscious decision, and one that demands some degree of consistency from book to book. As fun or enticing as it might be down the road for me to try doing a mystery set in London in 1816, I’ll probably leave that for someone else. Branding.
Incidentally, I lost both games of Clue. I hope that doesn’t brand me as a loser. Does coming close count in Clue?
To what level do you take your branding? Genre, storyline, characters – how consistent with these types do you try to be from story to story?