In a world where personalization matters, even in self-publishing, it’s essential to stay in the public eye as someone memorable.
In pursuit of success and recognition, writers use various tactics and tools.
But not everyone implements the concept of a brand into a marketing strategy, which can make a huge difference in your career as an author.
If you’re a writer, you already have a brand. You just need to learn how to use it in everything you’re doing: on your author website, Facebook author page, social media posts, and every material that promotes you and your book.
The good news is that no matter what stage of your career you're in, it's never too late to start developing your authentic signature brand. Perseverance and a competent approach will be the best assistants in creating and strengthening an emotional connection with your audience.
Let's dig deeper and consider the critical aspects of personal branding for writers.
In this article, learn:
- What Is an Author Brand?
- Why Does Building an Author Brand Matter?
- Ways to Build an Authentic Author Brand
- Brand Awareness Strategy
- Author Brand Examples
A. What Is an Author Brand?
Your author brand is your identity as a writer and how your audience sees and perceives you. The way you write books, the typeface you’re using on your website, colors, the formatting style, social media posts, blog articles, podcast interviews, business cards, and the emotion you evoke in the reader will shape your brand.
Also, think of it like this: your author brand is continually evolving as you’re growing as a writer. It will help you communicate your work and everything that makes it extraordinary.
Building your brand allows you to make yourself known to the world as a writer and will enable readers to form an opinion about you while helping you build a robust foundation for your writing career.
However, it is not uncommon for branding to cause confusion among newcomers. This concept can be perceived as too corporate and stiff. But an author's brand is, in essence, your personality and the way you choose to present yourself to the world. This will help with creating future marketing materials.
B. Why Does Building an Author Brand Matter?
Even if you haven't released your first novel yet, you can develop your author brand for the very first book you release.
Modern readers do not lack a variety of novels and books of any genre. And the task of each author's brand is to show readers why they should follow their creative career.
You want to demonstrate why your works are valuable to the world. What makes you stand out from the rest?
Moreover, an author brand helps you establish an emotional connection with your audience. Gaining the trust and loyalty of your people is priceless.
People who buy books look for strong author brands, which they associate with powerful literary influence and authority. The more appealing your brand is, the faster and more confidently it develops, bringing you a tight community.
Through your branding, you give the world a chance to know about you. You also encourage your potential readers to take place in the ranks of your fan base.
It’s alright to recognize that your work may not be to everyone's liking. But you encourage those who show sympathy for you.
The best manifestation of branding is when a customer is ready to buy your novel even at an inflated price. Today you can find people buying new books by Stephen King or J.K. Rowling, justifying their value with the authors' fame and the high quality of the works. This is something to strive for.
Writers have to think about how to sell more books. After all, they want to earn money by doing what they love. Developing an authentic brand will help strengthen your author's reputation and create solid marketing campaigns by tapping into quality book promotion services.
Establishing and maintaining a deep emotional connection with your audience allows you to forget that you should sell your books. Branding should do it for you, inspiring satisfied readers to come back again and again.
C. Ways to Build an Authentic Author Brand
Most authors have no problem understanding the concept of branding, but they get stuck when trying to understand how an author's brand gets built.
Emerging technologies and the popularity of social media are helping to increase outreach rates. It ensures effective communication between writers and their audience regardless of budget.
Thanks to brand storytelling, which emphasizes customer importance above all else, authors can draw social media users' attention to their work. This means using your author brand to benefit your readers, too, by offering information they find useful.
Early on in their journey, some writers may not understand the importance of branding, so they create a brand that doesn't represent them the way they really want. But no worries, tweaks are expected.
Let’s see a few ways to put your unique author characteristics into practice. Let’s create an intentional author's brand.
1. Create a tagline that describes you
Write something that fits everything about you and what you write into one or two sentences. Your tagline is more of an idea or concept that describes you. That's why you don't have to create long descriptions at this stage.
Try sketching a draft and optimizing it as much as possible. Research slogans and missions developed by other authors, and highlight the elements you like. After that, complete your original version of the tagline.
To see a few interesting and catchy taglines, check out these authors on Twitter and their descriptions.
2. Find a unique brand voice
Uniqueness and individuality are what will help you stand out from other writers. So, ask yourself, "How do you want to look in your readers' eyes when they hear your name?"
The task may require some time for reflection.
Brand voice is the style of communication presented in your emails, social media posts, author website, and other marketing items.
Think about your values and what you want to share with your readers. If you're eager to inspire and motivate do just that and try not to deviate from it. Avoid jumping from tone to tone because, in this way, you can lose your individuality. And your voice can get scattered, therefore unbranded.
3. USP Is your must have
Understanding your unique selling proposition is essential if you want to sell many books. Tell your audience what makes you different from other authors and why they should read your books. Maybe you got an extra superpower in creating vivid and memorable characters and plots.
Ask your friends, family, or colleagues what they find unique and fascinating about your books. This will help you identify strengths you might not be aware of.
4. Understand what you should advertise
Don't advertise just one book in every possible place (only if it's your first one). And certainly don't create an entire website around it. How can you use a website with your novel's name to promote future books?
You should create your website around your writing persona, which will give you the possibility of building an authentic brand with all your principles and values.
Your name is the most important aspect of creating an author brand. Everything else comes after. All your resources should have your name right next to what you're promoting.
Consistency is crucial. Use the same visuals, colors, fonts, and brand voice in every promotional material.
6. Build your visual identity
This is a veeery important part of the process.
Try to highlight the essential points of your work (genre, style, theme) and work out the layout for a design kit.
For example, choose bright and cheerful colors if you are a children's book writer. If you're aspiring to be a horror and thriller creator, a darker color scheme is preferable.
When you understand your brand's mission, style, and voice, choosing the right colors and fonts is not so difficult.
Here’s a list of what you should have at hand before starting on your author website or any other materials. They will come in handy for all future social media posts, blog articles, emails, etc.
Critical brand identity components:
- Logo, created by using fonts, visuals, or a combination of the two. If you choose to use fonts in your logo, pick a primary one and then an accent font.
- Two or three fonts and colors that define you. They will help you when you need to develop visual content.
- The tagline we talked about earlier.
- Distinctive branded style elements, such as graphics or icons.
- High-quality headshots.
Elements for your author website:
All of the above, plus:
- Links to other places people can find you, such as social media profiles.
- An "About" section with information about yourself, your books, and other relevant details.
- A unique domain name that reflects you as the author (make sure you buy it well in advance). You can use your first and last name or an author's pseudonym.
- Set up an email address and add it to your website in a “Contact me” section.
For social media accounts:
- The URLs and handles in your social media accounts should be the same or as similar as possible to your author website.
- A similar profile description throughout all your social media profiles, identical author's photos.
- Image templates for posts with a unified brand style, your name, and your logo.
- Printed products, such as business cards should be designed using the type of fonts and colors you picked.
- Extra visual effects (videos, book trailers, screenshots, quotes in graphic format, etc.).
This takes us to the next step.
6. Implement your brand everywhere
As you may have guessed, you are developing a brand not to gather dust on the far shelf in the closet and wait for its finest hour. You should apply it everywhere to make sure people will start associating your brand style with your name.
It's time to make the brand part of your writing career.
- On your author website
Your website is the heart of the author's ecosystem. A website can hold all the necessary information about your biography, novels, links to social platforms, and resources where users can order your book.
And all of these elements should be brought together by your unique brand style (colors, fonts, etc.)
Consider author photos. Fans love personal content.
- On social media
Users appreciate consistency. Most of all, they love to find you where they feel closer to you. While an author website is important, social media profiles have a more friendly and approachable vibe. Social media is a fantastic way to connect with your readers.
Also, the visuals you create for your social media strategy should include your branded elements.
- In every email
Make sure to include your defining visual elements whenever you send an email or newsletter (if you have one).
Also, use the same tone of voice you would use in your other writings.
D. Brand Awareness Plan
After you’ve decided on your brand elements and everything that defines you as an author, show them to the world. To make it easier for you, we put together the tips to know.
1. Set up your goals
Starting a path not understanding your ultimate goal sends you on a bumpy ride. The priority here is to understand your reader's journey and where you are leading them.
Identifying your desired end point helps in creating the right content for book promotion strategies.
2. Develop a promotion strategy
The best author brand examples are those that reach out to the audience. But for that, you need different promotion tactics. Use the following to help build your strategy:
- Define your ideal reader so that you can focus all further efforts only on your type of buyer. Try to write in detail the characteristics, qualities, and interests of your ideal reader to create a holistic model for your marketing campaign. By having a specific image of your potential customer, you can determine the places where they are most often found on the Internet.
- Create marketing materials using your brand style kit to make them unique.
- Identify and collaborate with authors and influencers in the writing industry. Interacting with industry people helps ramp up your brand awareness.
- Create a content strategy, schedule your publications, and follow through on them.
- Create an email list based on your blog, site visitors, and social media followers. Build your email list with strong lead magnets.
- Reward your loyal readers and those who advertise your book. This is precious word-of-mouth marketing. Think about what you can offer to generate more (e.g. fun giveaways).
3. Continue your growth
When promoting and improving your brand, be sure to ask for and analyze feedback from your readers. This will help you make adjustments to suit your audience and build your brand reputation.
If you feel comfortable and want to try something new, try connecting with new audiences, platforms, and alternative markets. For example, you can try tapping into a new subgenre.
E. Author Brand Examples
Looking at examples of the best author brands can help. Each of them has its own nuances. Take the inspirations you need to work on your own.
American writer Cindy Woodsmall is the author of over 20 fictional and non-fictional books. The number of her works keeps on growing, her most famous episodes being House of Ada and Quilt Sisters.
Cindy’s site is exemplary. It’s extremely user-friendly and refined. There are pages for the author's books, contacts, personal blog space, and even a separate section for Amish fans.
Writer James Patterson turned his official site into a collection of links for his other two websites: a children's book site and an adult publishing site.
According to literary critics, this is an unorthodox move that only someone as famous as James Patterson could get away with. Even so, we have an example of how you can develop a unique brand that everyone knows about.
"Fostering growth in the San Antonio tech community by being a Teammate, Storyteller, & Cat Lover."
These are the first words you see when you get to Lorenzo Gomez's website, where he talks about himself, his initiatives (Techbloc, 80|20 Foundation, and Geekdom), Cilantro Diaries, and speaking engagements. The site has a minimalist, original, and attractive style.
Careers for self-publishing writers, especially early on, can feel a bit complicated. PublishDrive is aware of this, encouraging indies to promote their books and build their readership.
An author brand is a needed asset for boosting your writing success. We hope you found these tips useful. Cheers on developing your authentic and unique author's brand!