Happy Monday, everyone! And, we’re rolling with another Ask the Publisher.
A few weeks ago, I wrote about building your author brand. This is the image you put forth and it needs to be in alignment with the perception of your work. It needs to express who you truly are and not a surface image or persona you are trying to portray. This is important because it shows the integrity of your brand and, honestly, people can sniff out a phoney at 100 paces. If you don’t feel comfortable in your own skin, don’t do it.
Your brand is closely related to your values and how you believe your writing connects with your readers. In order to have this brand be effective, you and your books need to “live the brand.” This means that the behaviors you exhibit, the ways in which you communicate, and the actions you take all need to be consistent. When they are consistent they are believable and, therefore, stronger. This clarity also fosters trust; your readers will feel they know what they'll get when they engage with you and your work.
I stressed how branding lays the foundation for the development of your author platform and building your own tribe of devoted readers.
Soon afterwards, the plaintive question came, “But I don’t know what my author brand is so how can I build it?” Fair enough! Clearly, I missed that obvious first step!
To backtrack to the basics…
The very cornerstone of branding is knowing yourself and why you write.
NOTE: I have prepared a worksheet that will help you to identify and begin to develop your own brand. Download the branding worksheet.
Consider questions like these:
Can you identify what motivates you to write? Are there particular themes you want to explore? Is there a story that is tormenting you until you sit down and write it out? Are there attitudes, beliefs, life experiences that are meaningful to you?
Who is your ideal reader? What do they look like? Where do they live? What do they believe in? Do they have worries and concerns that keep them up at night?
What is unique in your stories that a reader can’t find in another author’s books?
The branding worksheet provides space to work through these questions and more to help you gain greater clarity about your own brand. If you think there’s a question missing that would be helpful, let me know and I will add it to the worksheet! If you are still confused about where to start, let me know that, too!