Branding is the big word in publishing these days, even if you aren’t writing a series. Take the latest novel by my friend Loraine Despres. She wrote a terrific, highly-acclaimed novel that came out last year called THE SCANDALOUS SUMMER OF SISSY LEBLANC, the cover of which is to the left (click for a larger image) . Her new novel THE BAD BEHAVIOR OF BELLE CANTRALL isn’t a sequel, but you wouldn’t know looking at the cover. Because the publisher created a distinct look for Loraine’s first novel, they were able to repeat it for the second and establish a visual "brand" for her (I bet if she wrote a dark crime novel for the publisher, they’d probably use the same cover style). Will the branding work? Who knows…but have you noticed how similar the covers for Anita Shreve‘s last few books have been? It’s obviously been working for her. I hope it does for Loraine, too.