Branding is a frightening necessity that can bring out the difference between global recognition and total obscurity. This is an aspect of business that has kept growing more and more important since social media has become the norm.
If you think this sounds gloomy, you should know that you are not alone. Most authors approach their marketing and branding with this attitude. It can take a long time for cultural norms to catch up to economic realities, and there are many authors wish they didn’t have to deal with the marketing process. It might seem a very difficult job that you shouldn’t have to do, but you can look at it in a different way.
Building your author brand doesn’t have to be a daunting task, it can be a creative endeavor. It can also help you to take control of the financial future. Building an author brand has many benefits, but the most immediate one is that you will become the boss.
An author brand creates a consistent idea of you and your work that builds reader loyalty and recommends future releases. Nothing can be persuasive to someone as their opinions, therefore, get someone to like your brand and they will be loyal customers.
Without a known authorial brand, every book you write will be like your first book. A brand ensures that everything you do supports your next work.
What is your brand?
Most people don’t know what they want. In terms of marketing and branding, it means that companies didn’t understand the qualities would endear them to potential customers. Marketing requires someone to have the ability to convince clients in a manner that they are able to verbalize the impression they wish to develop.
This is where the authors need to start. You should start with “high quality,” but you should dig deeper into the emotional experience that your work offer. Authors should dream of developing a well-known and well-defined brand that it can offer competition. Authors might feel that it’s difficult to identify your brand in a lot of details, but one can easily start with one question: How do I and my book make the readers feel?
Start with a feeling
Anyone would consider what a product would make them feel. Their feeling for a product is what drives brand loyalty and brand behavior. This is true when it comes to the literary market, where emotion satisfaction is the main use of a product.
Most authors wrongly start their brand with a genre, which will mean nothing without context. You will find some people buying horror because they find it intriguing while other but it to be scared out of their minds. Some people would go for sci-fi because they enjoy the beauty of robots and aliens while others go for it for the intellectual stimulation of fantasy futures.
Creating a brand is about expressing what is already special about what you write about and not forcing yourself into the artificial construct. Identity is a cause while the brand is an effect. The strength of identity influences the strength of the brand.
Your brand needs to emerge out of an existing authorial persona. It’s about identifying how your work is seen and selling that is a perfect way possible. However, you should remember that the initial stage might require a lot of work. These values make up the foundation of your brand and need to be accurate and strong enough to sustain a larger system in different ways.
It’s a crucial theory to know, but having gained some information on the brand, it’s time to be practical about how you can apply them.
Like we said earlier, every new piece of work is usually supported by what came before it. A brand can build up a lot of energy that every new release is a guaranteed readership. This also applies to authors on their first book.
You should remember that a brand isn’t any one thing. It’s not your website, book cover or writing your book. It is an idea, and ideas can play by their rules. One of the rules is that they exist through use. Putting it in another way, an idea can only be an idea if someone is thinking about it. This means that, instead of waiting for your brand to grow on its own with time, you should be building and shaping it from the first day.
The first thing is to think about what your brand is. When you have done that, its time to start applying that idea. You need to construct an online presence even before you write your book. You should have somewhere to send your readers the moment they finish reading your book.
You should, however, remember that your brand is different from your book. Readers might want to know more about you before even reading your book. That’s where you need your brand to do that.
Other than that, it’s good to control your brand than letting it grow around you. When you let your brand to grow by itself, it concentrates on areas that you might feel shouldn’t define your work. Instead of that, steer it in the direction that you want. You should establish an internet presence based on the brand, and making choices that feed the idea you are trying to develop. All the content you create and share online needs to feed into your brand. This should also apply to the visual decisions you make when it comes to website design. Developing a brand involves a refinement process – learning the best ways to communicate the idea – and ist good to go through it even before you require the brand. All the aspects of presentation such as logo, font, and self- description should be hammered out.
Your brand’s role is to streamline several qualities that are associated with your work and express them in such a manner that it helps you make sales. You can do that in many ways, but brand unity is crucial.
Creating brand unity involves making sure that everything associated with you is seen as part of one thing. This could mean deciding on a specific font for your name which will be used on social media, book covers and website. It could also mean creating deciding on a specific color scheme and creating a logo and be understood as the same brand.
These are crucial steps to follow when defining your brand. You can work them out as an experiment before you present them to your readers. You should remember that your brand needs to be fed. You can’t define your brand and then sit idle until the time to sell your book comes. Create and share content and include all the aspects of yourself in branding. When you have done that and it time to sell your book, it will already exist within the context of what your readers can expect
Branding can also be created for you and not just for other people. It can assist you in creating better work and advocate for your success more effectively. Stating that you are not yet an author can be commendably modest, but at the same time, it won’t inspire someone who wants to read your book.
Deciding and conveying the right idea of your brand is a self-fulfilling prophecy. This means that when you go to a publisher, or when grab reader attention, you will be existing as a package. A clearly defined brand and one book are enough to make your brand feel real. The reader will be able to see that you have clear values, and they can see the values expressed in your work. Therefore, what else would they be waiting for before being on board?
Author branding: The first step
You shouldn’t worry if you feel daunted. Brands normally build according to a snowball effect, and they get bigger and bigger by nature. You just have to make sure that your first efforts go into the direction you want.
You can use the following short exercise to help you get started on building your brand. You can do this in three easy steps:
1. Set a timer for a minute – during the time, write down how you work should make the reader feel. Avoid restricting yourself, just write it all down as much as you can. You can scribe descriptive phrases and/or adjectives on a piece of paper.
2. Think of one author you would like to be compared to – consider this in terms of how their work makes readers feel. Circle the five phrases or words that describe them.
3. Take as much time as you want and whittle the whole list down to three adjectives that you feel describe your aims in the most accurate way when writing. As you remove the circled phrases or words, spend some time thinking about how you are different from the author you were comparing yourself to.
The process above is meant to help you in thinking critically about the brand type you want to develop and your values. You don’t have to be bound by the phrases or words you are left with.