I had a sad experience today with a blog I follow. It is completely unrelated to romance or writing or publishing or anything. It is a collection of real estate pics that are just plain bad or totally awesome. The blogger is hilarious. Somehow the prevalence of cheapo plastic white chairs in the pics inspired a side project following the life of Chair. Good stuff. Many hours have been wasted on this blog site. The blog is Lovely Listings. The windmill house image featured to the right (also a link) is an example of an awesome listing.
To keep things fresh, they have brought in a second blogger. The person's first blog on Lovely Listings was a review of a consumer product. The product was ridiculous and her narrative was funny, but it was not a lovely listing. I did not click on the link to see a review of an egg cup. Give me bad or glorious real estate, please. You have betrayed the promise of your name brand. *sobs*
The section in which I bring it back to writing:
Name branding is an author's dream. There are many authors I know I will always enjoy. They have established their name brand and I would buy any book with their name on it. I am a loyal reader and fan... until they let me down. Of course, not every book is going to be gold, but when you have a name brand that promises quality and you don't deliver, there's almost a sense of betrayal. These authors are so prolific and widely read that their name sells anything. Suddenly their name is the host to novellas with newbie writers, some that are really, really bad. Recently one of these authors started a new series and I did not get into to the story until about 80 pages into the book. I never found the characters believable and started questioning my loyalty. I will probably not buy the next book in this series and feel a little sad about that. Name branding is everything. You cannot betray your name brand by simply getting something published because the publisher knows people will buy things with your name on it.
Don't get me wrong... I am all about progress. No author should let themselves stagnate in their success. Nor should they throw us curve balls. It would be like Candyland writing with perfect English grammar and talking about horticulture. Raquel including beatnik poetry in her blog and/or encouraging people to just wing it. Tim Burton making a holiday chick-flick that did not star Helena Bonham Carter. Steinbeck including car chases and exploding helicopters. Anne Rice writing about Jesus.