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:
- Primary themes
- Secondary themes
- One line about the protagonist
- 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.