But the point of this story is that my very talented designer found a great photo, that really embodied my brand. Except.....it contained a purple tie. Now, there was a lot more to it than just the tie The tie was not the focal point. But I got scared. I didn't want anybody to think the following:
- that I was trying to ride the coattails of E.L. James;
- that I was using a cheap marketing ploy to attract readers of 50 Shades;
- or that my book contains any hint of erotica/BDSM. The genre itself is highly entertaining, but my book simply doesn't have any, and I'd hate for readers to buy it under that premise and be disappointed.
Well, I came to my senses. We're keeping the perfect image with the tie. So what if my brand isn't 100% unique? At some point, somebody else is going to have a man's necktie on their cover. The image might be pretty darn evocative of a certain NYT bestseller today, but every trend runs its course. Kristan Higgans has adorable dogs on all of her covers. Does that mean that no other author should ever use a dog in their branding? Of course not. Did I over-react? You bet.
There's an old saying that there are only seven original story ideas. Clearly, there's going to be some overlap. So I'm sticking with my branding idea, purple tie and all. And I hope this lesson I learned the hard way proves valuable to somebody out there. Don't worry about everyone else - just worry about making your book, your website, your marketing, the very best it can be.