How to Apply the Basics of Branding to Your Authorship
Literaries who haven’t accepted the fact that authors these days also need to be entrepreneurs and marketers may find the concept of branding ‘otherworldly.’ Whether you’re a traditionally- or self-published author, marketing is no longer a question of why, but how. This is where branding comes in the picture.
Chances are, you already have an author website or social media pages designed to create awareness about your book. Online presence is part of branding, though you may not know it. And since you’re already on it, why not do it right?
But first: Is Branding applicable to authors?
Yes, we still need to tackle this question. To those who cringe at the thought of “becoming a brand,” let us revisit the true meaning of branding.
You don’t need to look far to find examples. Start with your preferred brands of products or services. Think about it for a second... why do you stick to your favorite brand of coffee, toothpaste or gadget?
Other than the product’s quality and cost-effectiveness, the most compelling reason is arguably the emotional appeal of the said brand. It’s the same way with author branding. It’s a representation of what you do and how your books and the ideas you’re writing about relate to your readers.
Here are some branding basics you need to know, understand, and apply to get better at author branding.
1. Determine your author identity.
There’s a reason why Stephen King, J.K. Rowling, Nicholas Sparks, and Paulo Coelho have become such cliches when it comes to author branding. They have consistent, distinctive, and intriguing author brands.
Here are a few questions worth pondering so you can have a firmer grasp of your own author identity:
-How do you want to be identified as an author?
-Do you wish to be known as an author of the macabre or of the sweep-me-off-my-feet kind of stories?
-Do you have a common protagonist in your books? Or a common setting?
-Why do you write the kind of stories you write?
-What do you want to achieve in your writings?
-Who is your target audience?
2. Find your voice.
Your voice is the tone you use to communicate with your target readers.
If you are a children’s book author, for instance, your tone should be one that parents and teachers trust so that they’d be interested in browsing sample pages of your book.
If you write for young adults, your tone should be one that teenagers can identify with, even though you are are not a teenager yourself. If you happen to be a talented young author writing for the YA audience, then it will be a breeze to find a voice that represents your author brand.
3. Decide on a theme.
Your theme sets the mood throughout the places where you wish to make your presence felt—your website, social media accounts, and printed materials. It covers the tiniest details from logo, fonts, icons, patterns, color palettes, taglines or catch phrases, and graphics in your cover design, website, and social media profiles.
4. Establish online and media presence.
Once you have answered the questions regarding author identity, figured out what voice to use, and decided on a theme, it will be easier to set up your website and your social media profiles. You may choose to do it on your own, or you can also check out Okir’s host of services such as web design, marketing, and social media account management.
Remember that your website and social media pages are not supposed to be directly geared toward book selling. You use these channels to create awareness about your brand (your authorship) and attract readers who would like and trust you enough to buy your books and share them with others.
There is an 80/20 rule on what to post or share: Eighty percent should be about other authors, books, or causes in line with your brand; only twenty percent should be about your promotion and book selling. If you do this right, your readers will begin to see you as a trustworthy source and creator of content that matters to them.
5. Be consistent.
Consistency is simply the key to make your brand stick. Without it, all the effort you’ve put into building a good author brand will be like ashes in the wind.
When in doubt, you simply have to go back to the basics of branding—it’s more about your readers than about you. Before your readers can decide if they can trust you with their time and money, you need to be clear about who you are and what you write about.That, my friend, is what author branding is all about. Contact Okir Publishing and talk to a marketing specialist to help you develop branding strategies for your book marketing success.