There has been a lot of discussion on publishing blogs lately about the benefits and drawbacks of publishers branding their imprint. Some feel that publishers should be an invisible structure that support branded authors. While I agree that authors should have a brand, and that we as their publisher should help them establish that brand, Dreamspinner has worked hard to develop its own brand from the moment we opened.
Dreamspinner publishes gay male romantic fiction. It can be any genre, but the book must be story and character driven. Romance in our stories is defined by the growth of the characters’ relationship and not how much sex they have or even, necessarily, the outcome. When you look back at the great loves of your life, was there only one? Did you end up with them forever?
In November of 1957, the Alfred A. Knopf company published the Borzoi Credo in an advertisement in The Atlantic Monthly. The first line was,
“I believe that a publisher’s imprint means something, and that if readers paid more attention to the publisher of the books they buy, their chances of being disappointed would be infinitely less.”
So what do you think? Should publishers have a brand? Do you think branded publishers or imprints help readers discover new, quality authors and fiction? Does a branded publisher decrease the chance of being disappointed as a reader?