Like many writers I have focused in on individual book sales. Like the chapters in my fantasy novels, I’ve taken baby steps toward what I thought was the ultimate: THE BOOK DEAL. Then a friend introduced me to the idea of branding, of thinking beyond a book or series. He told me that my Artania novels were perfect intellectual properties for branding and advised I attend the Las Vegas Licensing Expo for examples. Now, I’ll admit to being absolutely overwhelmed when I first entered that huge conference hall with hundred of displays with names like Universal, Pixar, and DreamWorks. I walked from booth to booth in a bit of a daze wondering how the heck a little old writer like me fit in with such mega-successes. Then I hugged a cuddly monkey and realized. Perfectly. Every single one of the intellectual properties began like Artania did, with an idea. Some were single sketches. Others fashion lines. A few like me were dreamers who loved to create entire worlds with epic battles of good versus evil. So I got to work. And it was a lot like revising my novels. I took my query, tweaked it for a business market and made a one pager. I was pleased with the results. And surprise, surprise, surprise: so was everyone I gave it to. The response was so positive many people asked for meetings about my novels. So if you’d like to see your novels become household names with characters so recognizable that goofy people like me want to hug them, then think about branding. It just might make all the difference.