Lately I’ve been thinking a lot about my “brand”. I was considering giving you a dark suspense short story when you sign up for my yet-to-be-created newsletter. Soon after sharing the idea in a Facebook writers group, I was told that if the story didn’t attract my “ideal readers” then I shouldn’t do it.
First, what a cold term for people I hope to call kindred spirits. My readers. My tribe. If I’m lucky, maybe they’ll be my fans. But “ideal readers”? I can’t help but hear the cha-ching of a cash register when I hear it.
I don’t want to confine myself to one kind of storytelling. The ideas that pop in my head come from many places, the news, frequently. But the piece I’m most proud of was gothic horror, and the piece I had the most fun writing was noir set in the 1940s. Why cut myself off from exploring all facets of the craft?
How much of this is legitimate concern and how much is arbitrary and dictated by the publishing industry. Fitting into boxes works very well for them. It makes their job easier. It makes things easier to market and sell and make films from.
But I challenge this mindset.
Do you only read one kind of book? STRICTLY one kind of book? I didn’t think so. I know I don’t. Readers love a good story masterfully told. I hope to give you just that.