Despite the mixed signals sent by the book trade, authors do break out of the one hit wonderland to establish brand names and long careers. How is it done, and can publishers reinforce brands outside retail promotions? Joanna Prior, marketing and publicity director at Penguin, is adamant it is possible.
Prior has had a hand in the career of a roster of brand name authors, most notably Zadie Smith. Good branding, she believes, is a matter of confidence. “A lot of what it comes from is an unshakable belief that you have the ‘real thing’ on your hands, that you have an author who is going to write for a career not just one book.” Such belief, she believes, should fuel publishers’ confidence to create distinct identities that set authors apart. In the case of Smith this meant an emphasis on her distinctive name using bold cover design and tactical publicity that showcased her as a voice for a new generation.
Wednesday, December 12, 2007
On her blog, journalist Danuta Kean argues that for long-term success authors must be turned into brands.