Who Am I and What is My Brand?

God, the word “brand” seems to be the antithesis of actual writing. 

But when you’re writing non-fiction that’s what publishers want to know.

Not, “I have an idea for the greatest relationship advice book in the world,” but, who are YOU to write a relationship book??

See even if it’s the greatest business/relationship/pregnancy book in the world, or even a memoir on addiction/prison/infertility — it’s going to have to join dozens of other books on the shelf. So they want to know, why you?

Why are you the person to write this book. (A journalism mentor says, “write the story only you can write”.)

What they really want to know, though, is can you SELL the book. Sure, you may be a professor of love in Podunk, USA, but what is your platform? Twitter? Instagram? YouTube?

That’s where branding comes in.

Hey, I’ve been resistant to branding my entire writing career, being a generalist who covers everything from travel and arts to health and business….but then I landed on one topic and kept writing about it. Now, I’m not saying you have to do this but it helps if you either cover one topic or write for top places. Unless you’re big on one of the social media platforms.

Or if you start with one thing and then branch out. I have a friend who is THE expert in bitcoin. I find that as exciting as…she might find my expertise in infertility!

But I went from dating column to health to infertility to parenting so maybe it’s broader than one word in a brand.

What’s your brand?

Author: Amy Klein

Amy Klein is the author of "The Trying Game: Get Through Fertility Treatment and Get Pregnant Without Losing Your Mind," (Ballantine, 2020) based on her New York Times "Fertility Diary" column. Her writing on health, science, reproduction and essays has also appeared in Slate, Salon, The Washington Post, Aeon and more.