ecently I read an article regarding author obscurity in which the author offered the following bit of advice: The cool thing about obscurity, in this case, is that I can write whatever I want and NO ONE WILL CARE. I’m not a brand, and by the time I become one, evolution will have put Morlocks in charge of the planet.
To which I have the following rebuttal.
Everyone is a brand. The question is, does anyone know of your brand?
Your brand may not ever become that of Coca-Cola or Apple, but you are definitely a brand. Stephen King is a brand, J.K.Rowling is especially a brand. Her real name isn’t really J.K. it’s Joanne, and being that she’s married her last name probably isn’t Rowling. But she writes as J.K.Rowling because that’s her brand. That’s what people know her by.
I’ve considered changing my name for years, (eventually I will), but because of the Racewood brand, I can never fully drop A.J.Race because that is the brand I’ve built up for myself, and frankly it’s a brand that I’ve come to love.
You are not your brand, you are merely the face of your brand.
Anybody can be the face of a brand. Take MAC Cosmetics for example, they have a new face every year or so, the people who are the face represent the brand, but they are not however, the brand itself.
This gets a little more tricky for writers, actors, designers, people who’s brands are them, but who are not necessarily their brand. Your brand has to be separate from yourself, you represent your brand, and you will probably be the only face your brand ever has, but that doesn’t mean you can’t be separate from your brand.
If I were to change my name (privately, though little is private in my life because I chose for it not to be). I would still be A.J.Race, in the brand sense.
Think of it this way (to maybe make it a little easier) if you go by a pen name, that is your brand. Your brand is what you are known by. You’re selling yourself as an author and your books. That’s your brand.
Ultimately the question isn’t whether or not your a brand, it’s whether or not anyone knows of your brand and how hard you wish to sell your brand.