I’m sort of a newsletter junkie. I love reading about case studies from companies I admire. This morning a common theme kept popping up…branding. Although the topic was sent from large corporations, it’s apparent that even small companies and individuals need to be able to answer, “What does your brand say about you?”
Let’s break this down for authors. What exactly is your brand? How do you promote your brand? And perhaps most important, how does your brand stand out from the pack?
What exactly is your brand?
Are you a romance writer and if so, what sub-genre of romance do you write? Do you write thrillers or horrors? Or maybe you’re a literary fiction genius. Regardless of what genre you write, you have competition. The best way to distinguish yourself is to allow potential readers to made a connection with you. If you write romance, why not post about your favorite romance book? Don’t tell me you don’t have time to read. In another post I’m going to preach why every author needs to be a reader.
How do you promote your brand?
If your answer is to tell people that your book is for sale, there’s a much better tactic. People get hit up all the time to buy new books. But they don’t always get useful information, funny comments on their own posts, or even a little insight into the mind of an author. Why not promote your brand by being an ambassador to it? If you write thrillers, start a discussion about your favorite action star. If you write romance, share an idea for a perfect first date. In other words, you are more than just your books. Show your readers that you are a real person.
How does your brand stand out from the pack?
You can spot a romance book cover a mile off. Tell me if this sounds familiar…hot guy, usually shirtless, typically with a five o’clock shadow embraces a woman who appears to be on the edge of…well you get the picture. One could argue that these covers are so prevalent because they are effective. But are they? If you’re trying to stand out, maybe you need to show romance in a new way. Same goes for your posts. Talk about what you find romantic, not just the fact that your book is on sale for a limited time only.
Developing a brand means creating an awareness of what you stand for, believe in, and how this affects your writing. Take the time to sit down and determine these answers. I’m betting that you have more to talk about than just your books.