Author as a Brand
I am now a Brand.
Or rather an extension of the Harlequin Mills and Boon Brand with my own voice and personal characteristics.
Yes, I have been asked to supply a Biography and answer a long list of questions for the E-Harlequin website – and supply a photograph [ the horror, the horror].
I did write a brief bio and chatty piece for the UK HMB reader subscriber service magazine, but somehow this does not seem quite right for the international grown-up-girl E-Harlequin site, which is totally weird since I used to be a subscriber to the reader service myself, and know how much I enjoyed the mag.
Which has got me thinking about what it really means to have an ‘Author Brand’ when you are writing for a particular category romance line where the readers have clear expectations of what to expect.
The same but different.
Meets the brief – but fresh.
Tricky. I am effectively promoting myself to someone who may never read one of my books – and I still have to convey the why, who, what and where elements within the framework of the Romance Line.
Example. This is a paragraph I used as a brief bio when I last submitted a medical thriller to a literary agent.
Ray-Anne has been a shop assistant, student tutor, technical writer, community pharmacist, university lecturer, volcano walker, and Industrial scientist, before fighting her way out of company team-building sessions, to proudly declare that she is a girly swot and has the letters after her name to prove it.
She likes science. Nice medical science. Good medical science. Biochemistry is her friend.
When not stroking her To-Be-Read pile of pristine new books, she is either cooking, staring at the PC monitor, creating compelling crime fiction, or in her garden pretending not to be distracted by the wildlife.
She loves food and good wine, movies, laughter, hates reality TV and can cook you up a delicious dinner or an article on topics like ‘Outsourcing Strategy risk assessments for Multinational Pharmaceutical companies’, at very short notice if you ask sweetly.
Ray-Anne is currently taking a leave from the Pharmaceutical Industry to focus on writing full time. So far she is about 500,000 words in with still a long way to go.
There is a much longer bio on my actual scientific credentials, which I will not bore you with here.
Now this is not going to win many new romance readers, is it?
So – how about this version?
Nina Harrington grew up in rural Northumberland, England, and decided age 9 that she was going to be a librarian, because then she could read all of the books in the public library whenever she wanted!
Since then she has been a shop assistant, community pharmacist, technical writer, university lecturer, volcano walker, and Industrial scientist, before taking a career break to make her dream of being a fiction writer a reality.
When she is not creating stories which makes her readers smile, without the aid of pharmaceuticals, her hobbies are cooking, eating, enjoying good wine, and talking, for which she has had specialist training.
Um. Tricky. Clearly more work required.
Look at this scary effort! LOL