Monday, April 3, 2017

B is for Building Your Author Brand #AtoZChallenge

Author brand is kind of a nebulous term. We hear of clothing brands and soft drink brands, but people as brands? It may seem odd. Are you a brand? Am I a brand? If you’re an author interesting in marketing your book, then the answers to all those questions are “yes”.

In order to build your brand, you first have to know what it is. So what is your author brand? In her book, Your Book, Your Brand, Dana Kaye states it simply. “. . . You + Your Book = Your Brand. Your brand consists of who you are and what you write.” 

Defining this can be easy if you’re a naturally interesting person and you have one gothic horror you’re marketing. But, what if you don’t know what’s interesting about you, and you’ve written a gothic horror, middle-grade humor, and a young adult romance?

Kaye recommends finding a common theme throughout your work. She encourages authors to go through all of their books, both published and in progress, and list the following:
  1.  Primary themes
  2.  Secondary themes
  3.  One line about the protagonist
  4.  Genre category

When your lists are complete, mark similar answers. From these similar answers, condense the information until you’ve determined your author brand. I recommend picking up this book, so she can walk you through the process thoroughly. Here’s a link: Your Book, Your Brand by Dana Kaye. It's well worth the money and time spent reading.

Once you’ve developed your brand, you’re ready for it to meet the world. This brand will guide every decision you make in your book marketing from the style you choose for your website and promotional materials to where you seek reviews and interviews to which conferences you attend. By knowing your brand, your marketing will be focused, and you'll waste less time on activities that are unlikely to promote you and sell your book.


Melinda Marshall Friesen authored three books that delve into dark futures. When she's not promoting her own books, she's marketing books for other authors as the the marketing director at Rebelight Publishing Inc. 

#AtoZchallenge 2017 Operation Awesome B is for Building Your Author Brand


Ronel Janse van Vuuren said...

Great post. All authors should know this :-) Happy A-to-Z-ing.

Natalie Aguirre said...

So true about having a brand as an author and using it for things like your website.

Laurel Garver said...

Indeed, branding gets trickier if you write in more than one genre. But sometimes those products can cross-sell, so theme becomes more important than genre for eclectic writers.

Unknown said...

This is great advice. I've always struggled to define exactly what my 'brand' is. I write paranormal romance mostly, but I do dabble in other things. Thanks for a way to figure it out!

26 Things To Hate About Writing: B is for Books

Nick Wilford said...

I hadn't heard of this approach. I tend to think of brand in terms of genre, so defining it by theme could be really useful. Great post!

John Davis Frain said...

I have heard only good things about Dana Kaye. And lots of them. I'm hoping soon to get the need to purchase this book. I know, I know, I should probably get it now to prepare, but c'mon, time!

Anonymous said...

Helpful information. I've read a few articles on branding, but by the end I feel like I just read vague info that I already knew.

~Patricia Lynne aka Patricia Josephine~
Story Dam
Patricia Lynne, Indie Author

Deb Atwood said...

Nice, succinct explanation of author branding. Good information to keep in the back of the mind.

Anne E.G. Nydam said...

This is a good way to think about author branding. As an author of diverse books (I usually tell people I write "mostly juvenile mostly fantasy") plus being an artist/illustrator as well, my work doesn't fit into one obvious niche. But I absolutely have common themes that thread through all my work. Thanks!
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