And what I'm coming to realize is that branding really isn't completely about the writer. It's really about the reader. When a reader encounters one of my stories, what can they expect?
Like most writers, I hope my writing is distinctive, that there's something about it that sets my stories apart from those of other writers. Maybe the kind of something that will bring them back looking for more. For example, I write a fairly deep kind of fantasy, with layers of world-building. Not all of my worlds are completely invented (I just wrote a story set in modern day Bolivia) but most are, and there is always a fantasy element involved. I'm enamored with the exotic, and want to take my readers on a journey into different worlds. My characters may be gay or straight, young or older, but they are going to connect sexually in ways that will be erotic, passionate, usually monogamous and occasionally disturbing. I like happy endings, so hand them out liberally.
And that's me in a nutshell. If you read one of my stories, that's what you get. If I'm right.
But what if I'm wrong? What if readers are coming to my stories for something else? How would I know?
So I'm still figuring out the branding thing. Maybe once I figure out what my brand actually is, I can figure out how to build it. This blog is part of that process, so bear with me. And if you have any insights, please share. I could use the help. In the meantime, I have stories to write!