Monday, June 13, 2016

Author Branding Rebel!

I'm very excited to have Tyrean Martinson here today! She's turned the tables and written a "5 Reasons" post of her own...

Author Branding: When an author writes only one brand/style of fiction or non-fiction so that fans will “know” exactly what they are getting when they pick up that author’s books. A brand is meant to communicate the purpose of the author and to gain a steady, constant readership. None of this sounds bad, exactly, but I find myself squirming when I hear that I “must” have an author brand.

5 Reasons Why I Rebel Against Branding
  1. I’m a natural, left-handed rebel. In kindergarten, my teacher told me that I must choose which hand to write with. I chose to write with my left-hand because I knew that would irritate her. I struggle with the urge to rebel every time someone says I “must” do something.
  2. I fear that author branding means that I have to write the same kind of story over and over again.
  3. I don’t want to create several pseudonyms to cover all the genres I want to write. Can you imagine keeping up a social media presence for several names?
  4. I read a variety of fiction, non-fiction, and poetry. All of those books influence my writing. My earliest influences included: the Bible, a book of fairy tales and nursery rhymes that I read until the cover fell off, Where the Wild Things Are, The Hobbit, The Chronicles of Narnia, the Laura Ingalls Wilder books, Star Wars, Star Trek, Scooby Doo, my mom’s nursing books, my dad’s airplane magazines, National Geographic, Zane Gray, my grandmother’s real-life bed-times stories, and Shakespeare. (And guess what? With my favorite authors, I love to read outside my “normal” genres.)
  5. I want to take a walk in a variety of character’s shoes. I love that sensation of stepping into a new world with a new character and not knowing what kinds of twists and turns stand between the character and the top of the story mountain ahead. When my mom used to say, “Take a walk in someone else’s shoes,” to remind me to have empathy for others, I daydreamed about what that would be like.
Photo Credit: Tyrean Martinson, Shoes from Martinson family members.
Can you guess which ones are mine? (Hint: I have teen daughters.)
What shoes would you choose? And, would you want to take the same walk every day in the same shoes?

Tyrean Martinson is an everyday writer, believer, and daydreamer who lives within a mile of the Puget Sound but who can’t see the water from her house (unless she climbs a tall cedar tree in her backyard). 

Her latest book reflects her love of taking a walk in a variety of character shoes.

Flicker: A Collection of Short Stories and Poetry includes most of the short works Tyrean Martinson wrote between the fall of 2013 and December 2015. These short works range from extremely short in length, from haiku and hint fiction to flash fiction and short fiction. Forty-eight of these works found publication in magazines before becoming a part of this collection, and forty-two new works reside in these pages, as well. Flicker contains an eclectic mix of types of writing, as well as subject matter, from light to dark, from real world to speculative worlds.

Currently, Flicker: A Collection of Short Stories and Poetry is on sale for 99 cents June 11th thru June 21st for Kindle and Smashwords readers. 

I enjoyed Tyrean's post and feel like a genre rebel myself! I'm so happy for her latest release!

Finally as promised, here's a picture from the Sci Fi Valley Con I went to this weekend - I had a fun and successful time!
My costume was pretty tame compared to some of the wild and elaborate outfits that paraded through the aisles - fun people-watching! and it was great to meet new readers!


Heather R. Holden said...

Great guest post, Tyrean! I've never understood the need for an author's brand to be so narrow and specific, either. I've enjoyed stories from a multitude of genres growing up, and have even fallen in love with others I never expected whenever an author branched out. Pigeonholing yourself when you don't need to seems like something that could hinder creativity, in the long run...

And wow, love your set up for the Sci Fi Valley Con, Tara. Glad it ended up being such a success!

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Look at you and your display and costume! Awesome.
Tyrean, I can't imagine trying to set up social media for a bunch of pen names. That would be so hard to keep track of.

Tyrean Martinson said...

Heather - it does seem like a hindrance to me, too.

Alex - yes, definitely. :)

Tara - Thank you so much for hosting me! And that's an awesome pic! I'm glad it went well for you. :)

Madeline Mora-Summonte said...

Enjoyed the post, Tyrean!

Tara, great pic! :)

H.R. Sinclair, Southpaw said...

Go, go fellow southpaw! Today, I'm walking in no shoes. :)

Nice display Tara.

dolorah said...

You've read a variety of my own favorites as a kid. And I've never met another person who read Laura Ingalls Wilder. Fantastic.

Life is more interesting with empathy, and stepping inside another person's walk sometimes. I love my own flats, but sometimes I just wish I knew how my sister gets along in her spiked heels.

S.A. Larsenッ said...

Bah! I have to admit that your #1 made me chuckle. I think that attitude helps you with this subject of author branding. I've been learning more about it over the past year. Like you've pointed out there are good points and ones that are not so good. I'm finding it difficult because I'm being published in two separate children's arenas - YA & MG. (Tara, I know you've had the same issue. How have you handled that?) Great post, Tyrean!

John and Tyrean Martinson said...

H.R. - Huzzah for barefoot rebels!

Dolorah - you've never met anyone that has read Laura Ingalls Wilder books? Wow. It seems like most people I meet in the "real" world have.

S.A. - glad I made you chuckle!

Anonymous said...

Tyrean, I love your 5 reasons. Ha, ha, #1 sounds like my son. He's a leftie who always wants to do what he's told not to. And I can't imagine trying to do #3. I can't even keep up with one name.
Tara, I enjoyed your previous post about getting ready for the SciFi con. Very helpful to me in preparing for Comic Con here in August.

Crystal Collier said...

I think if you read a ton, the variety is a necessity. I get plot fatigue on certain genres after a while. Everyone needs a mix--just like everyone needs a rebel.

Tara! Your display is epic.

Julie Flanders said...

I never thought of myself as a rebel but now I know I am - I totally agree with your list, Tyrean.

Your costume and table are great, Tara! Glad you had a good time.

Emilyann Girdner said...

I can understand the fear of feeling contained to one story over and over. Love the event photo.

Mark Murata said...

I would only use a pen name if I had to. Say, if sales in one genre tanked, so that bookstores would not carry anything by my name anymore. Then I would fool the bookstores' computers by using a different name.