The importance of branding for books

I've started a discussion topic on one of the groups I belong to on Facebook- the suspense/thriller writers group - on the importance of branding for books? Please feel free to join the discussion if you wish. Here is the link below to Facebook or you can comment here on my blog if you prefer.

http://www.facebook.com/topic.php?topic=14849&uid=2397748813#/topic.php?uid=2397748813&topic=14849&ref=mf

Having worked in marketing for many years I’m no stranger to the subject of branding. Branding helps create and reinforce an identity for a product or service and places it in the minds of the customer, thereby boosting sales.

With books the branding can include:

· the book itself – its style, genre, quality of writing

· the packaging - the cover design, the size of the book, the title, typography, the quality of the paper

· the marketing – where the book is advertised, what kind of advertising is undertaken, the images used, the style of copy writing, the marketing message

· the brand name, which in fiction terms could be the imprint, the author’s name, the names of the characters or main character

And what reinforces the brand is the consistency of communicating all the above, across all the marketing channels.

My crime novels are branded as Marine Mysteries where the sea becomes the backdrop to evil, betrayal, treachery and revenge. They feature my detective, Inspector Horton. The Suffocating Sea is due out in paperback this month, Deadly Waters in mass market paperback on 2 April and the brand new Inspector Horton Marine Mystery, Dead Man’s Wharf in hardcover on 29 April.

With hundreds and thousands of books being published each year on top of the millions that already exist how important is branding for books, and particularly crime and thriller fiction, in a crowded and competitive market?

Who should be responsible for developing the brand, the author or publisher or both?

Do books need branding, and if so what do you say makes the brand?

And once having developed a brand is it then easier to sell more books?

Is branding even more important today because of Internet search engines?

What are your views?

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