Slippery Grip: Writer branding 10



View Profile

As if there isn’t enough to worry about when one tries to be a writer, now apparently we need to be branded. I thought I had covered all my bases with my web presence, my blogginess, my own domain and my style signature. I webinar-ed on weebs, tweets and wikis just to get myself up to speed, but soon found via an online survey I lacked social networking skills.

I do well on a BBQ with dips, chips and an ice bucket, and can hold my own at a dinner party, but I never dreamed I was a social misfit. I needed a profile fix and quick! My Facebook account was a woeful state, and if I had any hope of pulling my socks up, I needed to network. But all this would be lost, the writing gurus advised, if I didn’t brand myself. An absolutely vital tool for all writers’ nirvana: publishing success.

If branding was something you could just buy, then I’d just go on line and order the damn thing, plus postage. Wikipedia wasn’t any help either. Then I sort of surfed, Googled, delicious-ed and asked Jeeves, and ended up joining a dating agency by mistake. Harry, Ted, Mark and Bryan all said they could help me, but I had to become a premium member first. Only 70 easy payments. Go cut and paste yourselves fellas. Unsubscribe is such a lovely word!

Then I found a writers forum. Ah, I thought, like-minded souls in the pursuit of writing excellence. Can anyone please tell me what ‘accessible language poetry’ really is? Or perhaps, esoteric cognition? I dropped off their RSS as fast as control/alt/delete.

With the world wide web at my fingertips I ning-ed, and Linked-in, but I felt an outcast. I didn’t belong, and all because I wasn’t branded. Not recognised. Not accessible with a meta tag or a spider bot. It was akin to cyber suicide. If I didn’t do something soon I would be archived and forgotten.

So I bypassed the apps, the sponsored links, the 101 writer’s top tips and unplugged. With only my e-reader for company my life flat-lined, and then I reached out and found a book. Not just any book, but a big fat book. A book that had everything a writer could want. A book that had all the answers.

I looked up branding in the dictionary.

Now my only decision is whether to get a butt brand or an ear tag.

So, I guess that’s why authors are kept in stables.


Share your thoughts below.

Hettie Ashwin

My short stories have been published in America, United Kingdom and Australia in magazines and online. I have published a number of books over the years, all of which have been successful here and overseas. I write a humorous column for the Port Douglas & Mossman Gazette called Slippery Grip.

  1. Excellent – laughed all the way through and learned a few things about the internet along the way lol!

  2. It’s a mine field out there isn’t it? Does a tat count as branding? Maybe not – maybe just a recognizable tag added to your name and attached to every word you write is the go – hope so anyway.

  3. If you can write interesting pieces like that you are there already. Your experience sounds akin to wine snobs, don’t fall for it

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *