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To Brand or Not To Brand

Should authors have a brand? The debate has raged for years from conglomerate publishing house boardrooms to poetry dive bars.

Over at Slate’s business magazine Big Money, Jill Priluck takes a look at the state of the branded author. She studies how authors like James Patterson and Patricia Cornwell (featured in the GalleyCat video above) have earned millions with carefully-branded fiction, but wonders if the model could possibly sustain more than a fraction of authors during this recession.

Here’s an excerpt, laying out some smart figures:

“Independent advertiser Verso, which recently launched targeted online advertising, now spends about $2,000 to $3,000 per book on marketing, a fraction of its budget a year ago … In today’s fickle marketplace, the Internet–with blogs, videos, Twitter, and other promotional tools like Amazon’s Author Stores–is the modern-day equivalent to hand-selling.”

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