Book Of Days
Jim Rubart

Since 1994, Jim Rubart has worked with clients such as AT&T/Cingular, RE/MAX, ABC and Clear Channel radio though his company Barefoot Marketing, but his passion is writing fiction. His debut novel ROOMS released in April and hit the bestseller list in September. His next novel, BOOK OF DAYS released in January. He's also a photographer, guitarist, professional speaker, golfer, and semi-pro magician. He lives in the Northwest with the world's most perfect wife and his two almost-perfect sons. No, he doesn't sleep much. You can reach him at jlrudini[at], or visit his website at

Quantum Marketing

Branding - Part Deux

Last month we yakked about that branding thing, but we didn’t get through all the info I wanted to before my editor said, “Enough words!” (She didn’t really say that, but it makes things more exciting, don’t you think?)

Moving on . . .

This month we’ll:

• Explain how your brand is a promise you’ve made to the public
• Tell why it’s critical you know your brand before you get published (and why some editors and agents disagree with this)
• How to keep from violating your brand—and how it can kill your career if you do

Your Brand Is a Promise

If you’re known for writing legal thrillers, you have promised readers when they pick up a book with your name on it they’ll get a legal thriller.

If Stephen King comes out with a sappy romance, uh, sorry, Steve ain’t going to be moving a lot of those books. He will have broken his unspoken promise to deliver books that make you keep the lights on at night. (Unless of course the wife turns out to be an axe murderer.)

Think of it in restaurant terms. Say you have a favorite steak house. Every time you go there you have a tantalizing meal. Then one day you walk in and everything looks the same—until you pick up the menu and realize they’re serving nothing but Thai food. Now you might like Thai food, but you didn’t come to your favorite steak house to get Thai food. They promised you steak and they’ve just violated that promise. You might go back again, but you’ll be wary. And if you walk in and find they’re now serving vegetarian meals, you’ll probably be gone forever.

Can a steak house turn into a Thai restaurant? Sure, but it’s expensive and they’ll probably loose 80 percent of their original customers.

Know Your Brand Now

This is why it’s important to know what genre you want to write in and will be willing to write in for a long time. I’ve heard some agents and editors say you really don’t know your brand till you’ve written two or three books. Here’s the problem: what happens if your first book breaks out big? Whatever the genre of that first book is that’s what you’ll be stuck with. Figure it out now.

How Not to Violate Your Brand

Premiere magazine (no longer being published) did a ranking of the top 100 movie stars of all time about ten years back. Their pick for #1? Tom Cruise. But times have changed, no?

With one move Tom violated his promise to us and his career has never been the same. By getting on that couch and jumping up and down like a bobblehead doll, he shattered his brand as an intense, serious actor.

Now if Jim Carrey had made footprints on Oprah’s couch, we’d all be laughing and saying, “Yep, that’s Jim! That’s what he’s all about, crazy and weird.” But not Tom.

Your brand is more than the books you write. It’s the clothes you wear, it’s how you speak, it’s how you act, the pictures you post on FB and what you Tweet about. And once you’re seen in a certain way by the public, it’s a huge risk to take a hard left turn.

In other words, we need to think ahead of time what readers’ perceptions of us are, and make sure everything we do goes through that filter.

Gotta go check my Facebook page, I don’t think that photo of me and Barney is still working.


The Chair