For any author recently published I have one thing to say-congratulations, you are Crest. Or Telus. Or McDonalds. Feel free to insert any brand name you like here.
I'm sure a lot of people know about Tiger Woods (well, let's not kid ourselves. I'm sure most of us have been drilled through the head with too much information by now), and how he cost shareholders 12 billion dollars for infidelity. I for one was astonished that ONE person was able to cost that much money because of a mistake that should only be really affecting his personal life. The problem is that Tiger is a celebrity, and like other celebrities, people invested money in him. In fact, people do it all the time! Would your kid really want that pen if Hillary Duff's face wasn't plastered all over it? Would you really buy that toaster without Brad Pitt's approval? Not to mention the thousands if not millions of fan sites all over the web.
So where do authors fit in this crazy system? Well, surprisingly, and to a lesser extent, we have the same problem too. I write ‘surprisingly' because we have a name on the cover, a photo in the back, and some might think that would be it. But nowadays, writers are making a very conscience effort to promote their novel-going out to book signings, reading at coffee shops, chatting on-line, etc. Consequently, anything bad they do does tend to hurt book sales. And trust me, it does happen.
To give a recent example, during an on-line chat another writer casually mentioned that they were hung over from New Years and might be writing slower than usual. This immediately started a bit of a flame war regarding the use of alcohol. At first I defended this writer. It was his personal life, after all. Who cares? Then I realized, ‘Oh crap, he's a brand name, and so am I.' This is not by far the only and worst example of a writer putting their foot in their mouth, and more severe examples are easy enough to look up.
So for all you newbie writers, just remember-your name, alias or not, is a brand name. You are free to your opinions, of course, but also keep in mind what you are representing at the same time. And hopefully that is the newest best thing in the writing industry. :)