Business Musings: Brand Loyalty 2 (Branding/Discoverability)

Marketing firms, economics departments in universities, and many high-end retailers spend a lot of time thinking about how to build brand loyalty. As I researched this piece, I found articles that promised 11 ways to build brand loyalty! 15 ways to build brand loyalty! 5 ways to build brand loyalty! And so on. Most of these ways are completely different from each other, and have little to do with each. Most of the people writing about brand loyalty online are doing so to get you to hire them to build your brand. Ignore all that. I’m going to.

Instead, I’m going to focus on a few ways that show up in all of the articles, and then I’ll tailor those ways to writers.

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Business Musings: Brand Loyalty 1 (Branding/Discoverability)

Brand loyalty—name loyalty—is something that we writers desire, but it’s not something that we can simply will into being. And it certainly doesn’t come about by bribing your reader.

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Business Musings: Obsession, Delusion, and Writing

I’m sure you’ve all seen the first. Stephen King wrote one of his every-five-years or so essays defending the prolific writer. His essays are always a little defensive, because he’s writing for the literary crowd, and always a little perplexed, as if he’s not sure why people complain when someone writes fast. (I’m perplexed about that too.)

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Business Musings: What Traditional Publishing Says It Does Best

Once upon a time, a writer taking on a big publisher like that remained secret, partly so that the writer could sell another book. (Even then, the large publisher would often bad-mouth the writer in private to any other publisher who would listen.)

Times have changed.

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The Business Rusch: Pen Names

 At least one per week, I get e-mails from writers who ask me if they need a pen name. The question used to be really easy to answer. If you wrote in multiple genres at the same time, you needed a pen name. Now, the answer—like the answer to everything else in publishing— is it depends. I suppose it’s only sensible to ask me about […]

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The Business Rusch: The End of the Unprofessional Writer

On July 24, 2012, Canada’s The Globe and Mail published an article titled, “There Will Be No More Professional Writers in The Future.”  The article cites a number of writers, from the ubiquitous Scott Turow to Ewan Morrison who, The Globe and Mail thoughtfully tells me, is “an established British writer.” Morrison says that the advances he’s received from traditional publishers have been slashed to the […]

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The Business Rusch: Audience

  The Business Rusch: Audience Kristine Kathryn Rusch   Ah, the sound of bubbles bursting.  On television, bursting bubbles have an audible “pop!” so loud it almost sounds like a gunshot. In real life, bubbles make almost no sound as they pop, maybe a faint little wet smack as they cease to be, barely louder than a kiss. Bubbles really are an apt analogy for […]

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The Business Rusch: Bestseller Lists and Other Thoughts

The Business Rusch: Bestseller Lists and Other Thoughts Kristine Kathryn Rusch On Tuesday, in my morning business reading, I came across a rather startling statistic: the claim that it only took 20,000 sales of paper books to hit the paper bestseller lists. I’m also assuming the statistic means paper; it might mean that it takes 20K to hit any bestseller list, which is still shockingly […]

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The Business Rusch: Why Not?

The Business Rusch: Why Not? Kristine Kathryn Rusch On TV’s most popular drama series, NCIS, the main character, Leroy Jethro Gibbs, walks through the office, and if he hears a stupid statement, he slaps the speaker on the back of the head. Now, this is fiction, mind you. In any real office, military or not, he’d probably be fired, brought up on charges, or forced […]

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The Business Rusch: The Old Stone Path

The Business Rusch: The Old Stone Path Kristine Kathryn Rusch Once upon a time in a land not so far away, publishing made sense. Okay, it didn’t exactly make sense, but there was a set way to do things. For writers, it was pretty easy. We wrote something, and mailed it to an editor who decided whether or not to buy that something. If the […]

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