Your Author Brand

You believe most people who discover your book will fall in love with it. Your book is available at Amazon, B&N, Smashwords and your own personal website.But after checking your dashboard you realize only a handful of readers purchased your book. Why?

The answer may be few readers know your book exists. You need to develop your author brand and author platform. An author brand is an author’s perceived image and identity. While an author platform is all the ways in which you are visible to and communicate with your target audience. In other words, your author platform is every effort you make to be visible while your author brand is what worked. This post will focus on your author brand.

As an independent author an author brand is crucial to success. It can be an effective way to increase readership and freelance work. It’s a win for everyone when an author has a firm grasp on how to market themselves and their work. The reader will know what she is taking off the bookshelves and the author will have someone excited to read his work. Here are

Questions To Identify Where Your Author Brand Stands:

  • How do readers get to know you?
  • Who is familiar with your writing?
  • How many hits does your website receive?
  • Does your work appear in any publications? How many readers do those publications have?
  • How many people subscribe to your blog? How many followers do you have on Twitter? How many people follow your Facebook page?
  • Are you familiar with other writers in your genre?
  • Are you apart of any writing communities?

Taking sometime to reflect where you’re at, as an author will help determine what steps you need to take to bring your author brand to the next level.  You want readers to associate your work with your niche. Mention Maya Angelou readers think poetry and memoir. Mention Stephen King readers think horror stories.  Here is a list of

How An Author Brand Develops:

  • Speaking and workshop engagements – Exposure.
  • Do creative events – Break out the habit of just doing book signings.
  • A blog with a following – Consistently putting out material that is interesting and entertaining is a good way to start.
  • Active social media – Engage!
  • Connections with other authors – Writing conferences and book fairs are good avenues to build relationships.
  • Publications – Having published work for readers to know your work. You’re a creative non-fiction writer, Creative Non –fiction is a literary magazine for you.
  • Do interviews – Readers will see another side of you.
  • Being active in networks such as Writing groups and Associations
  • Volunteering for something your passionate about – Let your passion for children reading lead your efforts not just your children’s book.
  • Credibility in the field you’re writing about – A MFA in Creative Writing, experience in your field or your body of work can add to your credentials.
  • Write and request reviews – Readers want to know what other readers think.
  • Acknowledge your supporters – Thank You Cards.
  • Recycle – Pictures from events, interviews, reviews and other material that reveal your brand.

How have you developed your brand? Do you have any methods you would like to share? Leave your suggestions as comments.  

Rashaun J. Allen (@rashaunjallen) is the author of A Walk Through Brooklyn & In The Moment. He has been featured in several publications such as: The Chronicle, The Troy Record, Albany Student Press & UA Magazine. Find his books at www.Royalbluepublishing.com.

Image courtesy of Stuart Miles / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

How To Write A Book Marketing Plan

You finished writing your novel. Maybe you completed a chapter in your memoir. Or you received favorable feedback from your writing workshop. Wherever you are at in your writing career the moment of possibilities has arrived. Thoughts enter your mind about your book’s potential. It will be a bestsellerBye, bye, day job. Both are promising ideas. But how will you do it?

There is no guarantee that no matter how much effort you put into your book it will reach the success you want it. But you can turn a possibility into a probability with a Book Marketing Plan. It’s a document that reveals how you plan to achieve your sale goals. If you’re a self-publisher its imperative you create one. How else will you be able to decipher your success? If you’re looking for an agent it will aid her in understanding your vision. If you’re looking for a publisher it will help you submit to publishers who focus on your genre.

There are many other people who have written books, blogs and articles about Book Marketing Plans and I encourage you to seek counsel. I write to share my experience with you in hope to make your writing journey a little easier. There is no set format of what to include when creating a Book Marketing Plan. But I have focused on the steps I feel are most important:

1)    Define Your Success: You want to create a SMART (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, Timely) goal. Let’s say your goal is to sell 5,000 books in a year. Being able to reach this goal depends on how well you plan.

2)    Identify Your Target Audience: Who is your audience? You’re book can’t be everything to everybody. By being specific you can focus your efforts on that group. You wrote a children’s book. Your target audience should be adults with children.

3)    Delivery: How will your book be available? Will it be hard cover? Paperback? Ebooks? Hardcover books are more expensive than paperback. Ebooks are the cheapest books to produce. Maybe a combination of sorts.

 4)    Know Your Competition

  • What does your book have in common with your competition?
  • What separates your book from your competition?
  • Is your price comparable?

5)    Objectives:

  • Pre-Publication reviews: Book reviews increase the chances of your book selling. Some famous publications that review books are Publishers Weekly and The New York Times. They can be out of reach for some. Be diligent and search for review media whose interests relate to your book. But I don’t agree with paying a fee to get your book reviews.
  • Distribution: If you are a part of a publishing company, they should be able to provide you a list. If you’re a self-publisher, it’s important to figure out how to make your book available to your target audience. Some options: Independent bookstores, personal website, Amazon.com, B&N, or smashwords.com
  • Publicity: If you have a publicist great. If not, work your network.  Some ways to build publicity are Interviews, Blog Tours, Flyers, email newsletters, business cards and free listings.
  • Events: detail every event you plan on doing: Book Signings, Book Fairs, book release party etc.
  • Post-Publication reviews: Follow up with your readers. Ask them to write a review. Engage them over the Internet, in-person and everywhere in-between. Most importantly THANK THEM!

6)    Make A Budget: How much will it cost to reach your sales goals. Do you have enough income to do it? Break down the cost of each part of your plan.

 7)    Set A Timeline: The more deadlines you set for your objectives the easier it will be to gauge if you are on track to reach your goal. Be reasonable in your timeframe.

 8)    Brand Yourself: You are the ambassador of your book. What are you known for? Are you an expert?  Utilizing social media such as Twitter, Facebook, Wattpad, Goodreads, or your own blog is a great way to brand yourself.

 

Rashaun J. Allen (@rashaunjallen) is the author of A Walk Through Brooklyn & In The Moment. He has been featured in several publications such as: The Chronicle, The Troy Record, Albany Student Press & UA Magazine. Find his books at www.Royalbluepublishing.com.