by Diane Holmes, Marketing-Zone: Marketing Yourself and Your Book
This is the Fifth in a series on Author Branding. Previous articles include:
1. Author Branding vs. an Army of Writers
2. The Author’s Branding Manifesto
3. The Gleam in Your Author Brand (Brand Building Technique #1)
4. Storytelling Your Author Brand (Brand Building Technique #2)
As we’ve been discussing, a company brand or an author brand is how you put yourself “out there” to another human. It’s all the things people know, feel, think, and experience about you. In fact, when someone defends you to another person, they are defending your BRAND.
What does this mean? It means your book is NOT your brand. Your Logo is NOT your brand. The color scheme on your website is NOT your brand.
Instead, as Roni Loren says, “Your brand should be YOU. Whoever that may be. Your book/genre is only a piece of that package.”
This is a really good talk on brand by Thunder::Tech.
- Brand is a combination of Personality & Values.
- Why is spending time on building your brand important? “You’re not always there to tell your story.”
One of the things that is “there” is your book. It’s not you. It’s not your brand. But it does speak to your brand. It’s a piece of information that generates a reaction from your reader.
So let’s look at how you can use your book to explore your Author Brand.
Brand Building Technique #3: Linking Your Book to Your Personality, Values, and Story
For each book you’ve written, ask the following questions. (Omit any book that doesn’t have a plot or topic you’d write today. If it’s not part of your current or future career, it’s not part of your brand.)
- What do readers think they know about your personality from reading this book?
- Think about traits, skills, beliefs, and what they’d be expecting if they saw you in person.
- How do your characters influence other characters?
- Is the message that this is productive or not productive?
- What are the details of the story world & setting?
- The landscape of the character’s life?
- What do readers think they know about your values from reading this book?
- Look at the themes & issues explored in your book.
- Think about morals, ethics, mottos, and sayings that seem “true” in your book.
- What can the reader guess about your personal story from reading this book?
- Think about the big events in the book, and also how your characters spend time in their downtime.
- Take a look at the hopes and dreams of your characters.
- What do they consider worthwhile?
- What do they fight against? For?
- How do your characters grow and change?
- What are their passions and interests?
- What are your characters overcoming?
- What do they work hard to achieve?
- What is their greatest regret? Greatest failure?
Jot down answers, then come back through and circle the answers that seem to apply to you.
What you’ve just done is identify the subtle information you’ve been giving the reader about you. Look at this words. Circle the ones that you’d like to be part of your brand. This is key in understanding what you need to reinforce in your brand.
We’ll talk more about this in our next Marketing Zone installment: genre, character, plot & prose. These are the elements that delight both you and your reader. That delight is part 2 of how your book is part of your brand.
She’s the Founder and Chief Alchemist of Pitch University – “Learn to pitch your book from the AGENTS and EDITORS who make their living at it. Learn. Pitch. Sell.”