If you’re an author – whether new or established – you’ve probably been told that you need to build your brand. I’m a very new author. In fact, I’ll be releasing my first book this spring, so it was my alter ego as a communications professional that compelled me to write on this particular topic.
In communications, we often say your brand is what others say about you after you’ve left the room. It’s your reputation based on what people have come to associate with you, your work and how you interact with others. Your brand is what dictates what people will expect from you.
The truth is a brand is not something that can be thrust upon an audience.
A successful brand is well thought-out, develops over time, is authentic and, as a result, comes through organically in the various elements that support it, such as your website, social media, e-newsletters, cover art, book trailers – whatever they may be.
So the burning question is how to tap into this brand of yours lying in wait. Well, it takes a bit of self-analysis under three important areas. I’ve pulled together a few questions that I believe will set you on your path.
- About your books – What is the common theme or thread that goes through your work? Is there one? What type of books do you plan on writing in the future? What makes your books stand apart from the rest in your genre?
- About you, the author – What makes you (not your writing) unique from any other author? What is the unique perspective or voice that you offer? Where do you draw your inspiration? Why do you draw your inspiration from these places?
- About your readers – Who is reading your books? Why do you think they read them? (Perhaps you could review your social media posts to see what your readers are actually saying.) Who would be interested in reading your books? What do you want readers to feel or take away from your books?
As I said, my first book is coming out this spring, so I still have a lot to learn, but I think the aforementioned can be applied to any author, no matter the stage of your writing career.