Author Branding: Top Tips For Writers
You’ve heard me saying this countless times: life’s hard for the small fish, aka the self-published author. With the volume of self-published books nowadays, it’s way harder than ten, even five years ago to actually sell and make a name for yourself.
If you self-publish exclusively for the joy of the heart, then this article may be of no interest to you. If you aim at establishing yourself as a writer & making your own nook in the #writincommunity then read on because author branding will be your first step in standing out.
What Is Author Branding?
Author branding is when you take your name and turn it into a brand, giving your literary identity a makeover, taking the authorpreneur in you to the next level.
Being a writer alone is just not enough to separate you from the heap of authors out there, so this is the time to start thinking about what can separate you from the crowd: your added value.
- What added value can you bring to the writing or reading community?
- What potential skill can give you more exposure to your niche audience?
If you write about cats, you could do a weekly/monthly feature of feline companions, get in touch with all those amazing cat pageant organizers and feature them on your blog.
If you write vampire fiction, you have plenty of sexy fields to explore, from legends of Dracula, The International Vampire Film and Arts Festival (yes, that’s a real thing) to all the theme Facebook groups out there who would die to get their hands on your work.
All you have to do is reach out, but pay attention: how you reach out is your key to success. This way, what you write is going to make its way into the hearts of your target audience, and as a writer, I already know you have a way with words.
Don’t be afraid to get creative with the format. You can take your pick from blog posts to YouTube videos, podcasts, whatever you’re more comfortable with and integrate that audience in your future projects.
My particular case is a bit different, I am a writer and a content creator for upcoming authors. This means my blog caters to educating upcoming authors in the tricks of the craft.
On one hand, I experiment with tools that can help new authors in their endeavors and write about the best picks in an easy, relatable manner. My mission here is to help any individual who never had previous contact with the writing industry become an author if they so desire.
All they have to do is follow the Journey From Writing To Publishing A Novel.
On the other hand, I have an Interview Section where writers can check out and learn from professionals in the industry such as editors, cover designers, beta readers, other authors and even contact these professionals directly if their services are of interest to them.
Although my added value doesn’t cater directly to my paranormal romance readership, I vow to get to them in time as well.
Great Author Branding Comes With Great Design
Rome wasn’t built in a day. It takes years for brands to take off, so consistency is key. Design is important because we tend to take judge what we see, so that same design consistency should reflect on your blog, author website and social media.
Your author branding needs the same continuity as book covers of the same saga.
You’ll only need to be trained by a designer at the beginning, then your expert eye will know immediately if a certain design is compatible with your literary identity or not.
Nevertheless there has to be a certain harmony between the elements that make up your brand as an author, from your cover designs to your website, and the elements you post on social media.
My author logo was designed by this amazing graphic designer who granted me an interview here. I spent around a week thinking about a representative logo that would also reflect my writing style: feminine, with a dash of cosmic nerdiness.
Just like with non-literary brands, a logo is compulsory and should show up all over your online presence.
Whether you decide to include letters or just symbols, in time your logo will speak for you just as the examples below:
Is it expensive? Well, it can be, but thanks to 99designs you have very affordable options. A piece of advice would be to give it a thought before jumping in and getting a profile there first because designers do need a lead in order to achieve perfection. Think about style, the compatibility with what you write and your literary identity.
Author branding is no different from any other branding, so everything has to function in complete harmony:
- The fonts you choose for your website/blog
- The color palette
- The overall style
- Your book covers
- The logo
- Your main tagline (that has to appear all over your social media presence, author website, etc.)
Speaking of Taglines, here are some notable examples:
Will you have to work with a designer for all of the above? Most likely, yes. It’s not going to be cheap either, but thanks to platforms such as Fiverr or Upwork, authors can find affordable options. The tagline of course, will be a product of your imagination, a short catchy sentence to define you as an author.
Why Is Author Branding Important?
Because ironically and unconsciously we tend to have more faith in firstname.lastname@example.org than email@example.com. It somehow looks more serious, more reliable.
Whether traditionally published or self-published, an author will have the same responsibility toward the work of promotion, author branding and building an audience.
Everything Starts With Your Literary Name
All the branding needs to happen around your name, so if you haven’t picked up a good author name, that’s where you need to start. Many authors fall into the trap of branding their books instead of their name, and that’s a recipe for failure most of the time if what you pursue is a writing career.
If there are authors who share your name, make sure your author name or pen name has a unique ring to it. It’s also worth checking out free website domains for your author profile.
Website domains in the .com category get far more traffic than .net .org, etc. If by chance www.namesurname.com is taken, you could try authornamesurname.com or namesurnamewrites.com or variations. My advice would be to try and get a .com whatever it takes and try to maintain that same name consistency throughout social media.
I’ll soon write a piece about all the tips, tricks & examples related to author websites. Until then, feel free to sign up to my Newsletter & happy writing!
Are you in the Writing Industry?
Shoot me an email, I’d love to interview you!
And check out Lost in Amber: An Out Of This World Paranormal Romance if enjoy girl power, adventure & a toe-curling love story.
She just wanted to mope over her breakup but the universe had other plans for Zoey Mills.
Read the full blurb here.