March 13, 2015
Author Branding: Lynn Emery
I love it when an author's work can be easily identified at a glance without looking at their name. When I wrote for the old Arabesque line (which had various owners over the years), they chose a brand for my romance novels that featured faceless heroes and heroines. I thought it was nifty.
At the start of my indie publishing days I hadn't given a lot of thought to author branding, which was in keeping with my not knowing what the heck I was getting myself into. But after I'd completed the third and final connecting book in the series that began with my first indie title, Save the Best For Last, I noticed a startling lack of resemblance between the cover of the first book and that of the last two. While Something Real (book #2) and Man of Her Heart (book #3) were done in bold red and blue, Save the Best For Last had a black background with pink and yellow prominence in the foreground. They looked about as much alike as Danny DeVito and Arnold Schwarzenegger in that old movie, Twins.
I contacted my cover designer, and we set to work coming up with a new cover for Save the Best For Last. The artwork chosen was also done in red and blue, and while the three covers now meshed, there was really nothing other than similar colors to link them together:
But enough about me. Over the next week or so, I want to show examples of true branding. Let's start with author Lynn Emery. Lynn writes stories set in her native Louisiana, and in her covers you can practically reach out and touch the Spanish moss, feel the heat of the bayou, and see the mist rising over the swamp. They transport potential readers to the Bayou State so that you can smell the gumbo cooking.
Let's take a look, and you'll see what I mean:
See what I mean? Lynn's covers evoke the mood and mystery of the bayou (the latter is particularly appropriate, since this particular series happen to be mysteries). I don't even have to look at her name on the cover; one glance and I know these are Lynn Emery novels. They are also strikingly attractive and are of a quality equal that produced by designers at the Big Five publishers.
Lynn has several series, and they are all branded for easy reader identification. For more information about her, please visit her website, and/or her author page on Amazon.
If you're in the market for a good cover designer, these covers of Lynn's were designed by Pati Nagle.