No, it is not as painful as it sounds!
Ok, it can be if you fight it. And trust us, many authors do. Usually because they don’t understand why they should even have to brand themselves in the first place.
Let’s take a step back and look at why branding of any product came about. It was basically created so that people could tell the difference between Coca Cola and Pepsi. They were both dark-colored soda pops. How would you know which one you liked it if you didn’t recognize and remember the brand?
The same goes for writers. You need name recognition. You need people to remember who you are and that they like you so they will buy your product.
The days of people wandering through bookstores reading the back covers of books and deciding to buy are over.
We live in an age of MTV. Buyers need to recognize you instantly or they move on.
This is why your social media presence is so important. It is the one #completelyfree way an author can get out there and meet potential readers, introduce yourself and cement in their minds who you are and what you your book is about.
And that, my friend, is the definition of your brand.
Your brand is simply clarifying and projecting what type of author you are and how incredibly awesome your book must be because of it.
Let’s say you write urban fantasy but you Tweet about baseball. Huh? How is that branded? Or what about if the vast majority of your updates on Facebook are about recipes? Now unless you have developed a new ‘cozy’ urban fantasy genre, your readers are going to be confused.
Yes, I might want to bake your cupcakes, but do I want to read your dark, hard-edged werewolf thriller? #um #probablynot
If you really want to go ‘pro’ with your social media and build an actual sales platform for your book, you will need to clarify, solidify, and project your brand.
Each update/tweet/bulletin etc that you post is not only a writing sample but also an opportunity to develop your brand but as well as your readership.
Imagine if you were being interviewed by People Magazine. Imagine how careful and precise you would be in putting your message out there. How few words you would have to explain yourself as an author and explain your book.
That is your natural instinct to brand. Now we just want to take that out of the subconscious and bring it to forefront.
Everything you put out into the Twitterverse etc., needs to be viewed through your ‘brand’ filter. Does this tweet support and promote my brand? Is it at least neutral to my cause?
If I were a reader of dark, gritty werewolf books and I read your recipe Facebook update would I want to know more about this author?
Well, I guess there goes my fascination with cupcake recipes! No, not necessarily. That is the beauty of branding. You can talk about just about anything as long as you brand it.
“Just made this amazing Raspberry velvet cupcake <link> What? Werewolves have to eat too!”
“Raspberry velvet cupcakes here… <link> You know if you dye the frosting just right it looks a little like blood. #werewolvesrock”
“Sorry, nothing paranormal about this Raspberry velvet cupcake <link> but they are extra-ordinary!”
Branding is nothing more than finding a way to subtly (or not so subtly some times) work your message in as smoothly and frequently as possible. So when that reader goes to buy a werewolf book, they think, “Hey! Who is that chick with the bloody cupcakes?”
Now let’s say you have a really large cupcake following that really don’t like werewolves. Well, then you probably need to create two personas. One that is super G-rated that talks about baking, and another that finds guys that turn into wolves hot.
Another way of thinking about branding is how would you write for your social media accounts if you KNEW an agent or publisher were reading each and everything you posted to your stream/feed/updates? Would they get the sense that you are an accomplished writer with a great social presence? Would they know that you could sell your book?
That is what branding gets you. Respect, recognition and ultimately…. SALES!
So what are you waiting for???? #GoBrandYourself
Cruise by our website. Check us out. Join the collective and see you next week!
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