Tuesday, November 3, 2009

What's the Brand? Author or Title...

Since I've been reading my friend Joel's column, Warady's Riffs, Raves and Rants on Marketing with some regularity, I feel like I've ingested enough information to notice the difference in branding between the new books SuperFreakonomics and What the Dog Saw and Other Adventures.

Why has Gladwell never written a book called After the Tipping Point? I'd even debate that Outliers was in fact an extension of Blink. Both are success-making books of sort; a prime lesson from the former was that while first impressions from laypeople can't necessarily be trusted, first impressions from experts more often can. The latter also implies that practice, practice, practice is often behind the lucky breaks that fall into successful people's laps.

But despite that connection, the books were never tied together. Why? Because Gladwell is the brand. That's why they can now publish unrelated columns with little worry of failure.

Levitt and Dubner are seemingly not there. Otherwise, I think the title of their new book might have been less derivative. Not that I don't want to read it--and others too, it's the #1 book on the New York Times bestseller list.

My next quandary--where would I have put them had HarperCollins offered me an event? I thought I might have a shot, since Levitt lives in Chicago. I even had a connection with the Milwaukee-area Business Journal. I'm actually on my way to sell books for a partnership event with them and the Milwaukee Public Library for Jeffrey Krames' new book The Unforced Error. I can only imagine the crowd if it were for SuperFreakonomics.
Another little detail--it took me several minutes of searching to determine how to spell the book's title. One word or two? Caps? Was the spacing stylistic or the lack of it part of the word coining? Because Morrow almost always wrote the book's title in caps, it was only on the fifth ocurrence of the title that I saw that the F was capitalized. I believe I've been spelling it wrong previously. All is now correct in the world of SuperFreakonomics, and it will now give me great joy to spot misspellings, such as I already do for Rachael Ray and Stephenie Meyer, both of which have e issues in their names that are often not caught in proofreading.

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