In a world where personalization matters, even in self-publishing, it’s essential to stay in the public eye as someone they’ll remember.
In pursuit of success and recognition, writers often use various tactics or functional 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. Due perseverance and a competent approach will be the best assistants in creating and strengthening an emotional connection with your audience.
Today, we’ll dig deeper into this topic and consider the critical aspects of personal branding for writers.
Let's get started.
In this article, you will find:
- 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, and 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 because, for some, this concept is 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, which will help you create any further marketing materials for promotion.
B. Why Does Building an Author Brand Matter?
Even if you haven't released your first novel yet, but you are very ambitious in developing an authentic brand, you have all the cards in your hands because you can certainly do it from 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 specifically show all the readers why they should follow their creative career.
Authors should aim to demonstrate why their work and books are valuable to the world. This helps them stand out from the rest of the writers.
Moreover, an author brand helps you establish an emotional connection with the audience, as this will allow you to gain their trust and loyalty, which is priceless.
People who buy books look for strong author brands, which they associate with powerful literary influence and authority. And the more appealing your brand is, the faster and more confidently it develops, bringing you a tight community.
Through the brand, you give the world a chance to know about you, but you also encourage your potential readers to take place in the ranks of your fan base.
Also, 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 brand strength is that the 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. And this is something to strive for and what you can achieve.
All the writers are always thinking about how to sell more of their 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 will allow you to forget that you should sell your books. The brand will 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 is 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 their 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 want. But do not despair because you can still fix everything.
So, let’s see a few ways to put your unique author characteristics into practice. This will help in the purposeful creation of the author's brand.
1. Create a tagline that describes you
For this one, you'll have to write something that fits everything about you and what you write into one or two sentences. It's more of an idea or a concept that describes you. That's why you don't have to create long descriptions at this stage.
Thus, we recommend you sketch a draft and optimize it as much as possible. Then find out what slogans and missions were developed by other authors, and highlight some points from them that you would like to use. After that, complete your original version of the tagline.
To see a few interesting and catchy taglines, you can check out a few 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 with the audience that will be present in your articles and posts on social networks and other platforms.
Think about your values and what you want to share with your readers. If you're eager to inspire and motivate them, stick to this course and don't deviate from it. You should not jump from style to style because, in this way, you can lose your individuality. And your voice will become 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. This can be your ability to create vivid and memorable characters or intricate plots.
Ask your friends, family, or colleagues what they find unique and fascinating about your books. This will help you identify strengths that you might not be aware of.
4. Understand what you should be advertising
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 to build 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.
In this case, consistency is also 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. And 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 to create 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:
- Your logo, which can be created using fonts, visuals, or a combination of the two. If you choose to use fonts in your logo, pick a main one and 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 the 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 simply 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 that should be designed having in mind the 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
The heart of the author's ecosystem is the website. There you can place all the necessary information about your biography, novels, links to social platforms, and resources where users can order your book.
And all of this should be brought together by your unique brand style (colors, fonts, etc.)
And do not forget author photos: the audience will be eager to know what the person whose work they like to read looks like.
- On social media
Users love consistency, and most of all, they love to find you where they feel closer to you. While an author website is important, social media profiles seem more friendly and approachable. So stay on social media to remain connected with your readers.
Also, the visuals you create for your social media strategy should all include your branded elements.
- In every email
Make sure to include your defining visual elements whenever you send an email or your newsletter (if you have one).
Also, use the same tone of voice you would use in your other type of writing.
D. Brand Awareness Plan
When you have in place the brand elements and everything that defines you as an author, you need to start showing them to the world. And to make it easier for you, our team has prepared some tips to help you take your rightful place among personal branding authors.
1. Set up your goals
The beginning of the path without understanding the ultimate goal sends you on a bumpy ride. Thus, the priority is to understand your reader's journey and where you are leading them.
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. The following aspects will help you with this:
- 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 such people to create a holistic model for your marketing campaign. By having a specific image of your potential customer in hand, you will be able to 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 from the writing industry. This will ramp up your brand awareness, as these are people who have already established themselves as connoisseurs in the industry.
- Create a content strategy and schedule your publications.
- Create an email list based on your blog, site visitors, and social media followers. This can be possible through strong lead magnets.
- Reward your loyal readers and those who advertise your book without asking them. This is precious word-of-mouth marketing, so think about what you can give them to stimulate them even more.
3. Continue your growth
When promoting and improving your brand, be sure to ask and analyze the feedback from your readers. This will help you adjust to suit your audience and build your brand reputation.
If you feel comfortable and want to try something new, you can connect additional sources for living, such as new audiences, platforms, and alternative markets. For example, you can try yourself in a new genre. Write an exciting novel that would make you famous among readers who did not know about you.
E. Author Brand Examples
You might already be familiar with the different types of author brands. But even if this isn't the case, we've prepared a short list with examples of the best author brands. Each of them can impress you with specific nuances and inspire you to further work on your own.
American writer Cindy Woodsmall is the author of over 20 fictional and non-fiction books, and the number of her works keeps on growing. The most famous episodes were House of Ada and Quilt Sisters.
Her site is exemplary since it is extremely user-friendly and refined at the same time. There are sections with the author's books, a personal blog, contacts, and even a separate section for Amish fans.
This writer turned his official site into a collection of links to 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 will be on everyone's lips.
"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. The site has a minimalist, original, and attractive style.
The beginnings of careers for self-publishing writers can sometimes be a bit complicated. And our PublishDrive team is aware of this and is trying to help young and ambitious authors. They need to look for ways to promote their books, increase their visibility, and build a dedicated readership looking forward to releasing a new novel.
An author brand is a terrific tool for boosting your writing success. And we hope that the tips in this article will become a valuable source of information for you to develop your authentic and unique author's brand.