Author branding is a fundamental yet often overlooked aspect of writing a book. Gone are the days when an intriguing title and a fancy publishing company were enough to sell a book. Now, it’s not just about writing a great book—it’s also about marketing yourself as an author.
Your branding as an author plays a crucial role in your success. It’s not that writing isn’t important, but without a strong author brand, even the best book might fail. Today’s readers crave connection—they want to know your distinct style, engage with your public persona, and follow your online presence.
In our blog, we’re here to help you build a robust author brand grounded in a clear core identity. We’ll explore your purpose, vision, mission, and values—all of which are crucial for forging a strong connection with your readers.
One of the biggest challenges an author has is finishing their masterpiece, but an even bigger challenge is proving to people why they should read your book. Whether you write fiction, non-fiction, poetry, or philosophy, your book will have to come with something significant that warrants the consumer to buy and spend the time reading it.
You need to ask yourself why anyone would want to read your book. Does your sci-fi or fantasy book offer a well-written, unique story with beautiful style and prose? Does your self-help book answer challenging problems the reader is experiencing? These are questions you need to ask yourself because the consumer will question whether or not your book is right for them.
Author branding helps tackle the issue of getting the consumer to buy and read your book. Establishing yourself as an authority on your genre or subject is essential, but it’s easier said than done. Many authors pay thousands of dollars to get their branding to resonate with their audience, but instead of shelling out that kind of money, we can tell you the critical aspects of author branding.
Defining your message in your story is essential for author branding. Your message will be much deeper and more philosophical than the actual plot of your story. That’s because the message behind your story will give your story more depth and purpose. This is what sets apart a writer and an author.
Here are some steps to help you shape your message:
Defining your expertise as an author goes beyond simply choosing a genre. It’s about honing in on what you, as the author, know and are passionate about. Each genre, whether sci-fi, romance, or horror, has distinct structures, themes, elements, and styles that you need to comprehend and master.
While experimenting with various genres can be enlightening and fun, authors generally avoid unfamiliar subjects. After all, would you plunge into writing a historical novel set in the 1800s without any knowledge or interest in that time period? Probably not.
Deviating from your brand identity is risky. While you may attract new followers and readers, is it worth the risk? Would you rather seize the opportunity to build on the momentum you’ve already gained or experiment? Most authors don’t fix what’s not broken, especially when they are just starting.
Every author has a unique voice. An author’s voice is so powerful that you can see a few sentences from your favorite author and know who wrote them. Everyone is different, so your voice isn’t like your favorite author; it will be you. And that’s the point. A lot of new authors struggle to understand this perspective.
Some authors may not like their voice in their writing, or they may feel insecure and unsure of the voice they possess. So they try to change it to make it sound like something they are not, which is a mistake. You, as an author, need to work to exercise that voice to mold it in a way that you are proud of. Your voice will only get better and more refined, and before you know it, you’ll start trusting it to write the books you want.
How you present yourself as an author will determine what your audience will think of you. There’s only so much we can do to try and control our image, but ultimately, it’s up to our fans and readers to decide how we are perceived. As an author, you can do and say everything right and be politically correct, but at the end of the day, it may not be enough.
It’s an unfortunate reality that many authors find out the hard way. While others have a pen name that gives them a little anonymity. However, if you are going to put yourself out there, it will get personal. People may be interested in who you are and what you are all about. So what can you do? Set up your social media and establish what you are all about from the get-go.
This will help you build:
Building a strong author brand will take hard work, perseverance, and plain old time. But, it’s necessary for every single author out there looking to make a name for themselves. Even if you got published under a big publisher, you would still have to do much leg work.
However, when you get the ball rolling and start getting some traction, you’ll see how it was all worth it. Author branding is the key to driving sales, which is what you want. We’ll go through how to build a strong author brand so you can carve out your path as an author and make a living off of your writing.
Defining your author brand will be associated with your genuine desire in life. But, it won’t be easy because, as a writer, you are probably interested in many things, so your true desire may be hidden in the many different avenues you can take. However, an interest and a true desire aren’t even remotely the same.
Here’s why, writing about something you are interested in may make you feel good that you accomplished it, but it doesn’t fill the missing void, which is what you ultimately want to do. For example, you may be interested in poetry, and writing a poem may feel good, but at the end of the day, you may feel unaccomplished because, in the back of your mind, that poetry isn’t the essence of you.
Your essence for writing may be horror, romance, or contemporary philosophy; whatever it may be, you must experiment with what drives you to write and tell a story. Many aspiring authors blog, join writing communities, and even compete in writing contests. They are trying to find that desire; whatever that desire is, you will have to find it, which will be the brand you will be proud of.
Understanding your target audience is going to require statistics infused with creativity. For instance, you must create a persona of who may be interested in your writing. If you are a young adult author, you already have a good sense of the age range, but there’s more to it than that. You need to know their interests and preferences, so your writing style can resonate with their taste.
To zero in on your audience, the best thing you can do is break your potential audience into three different sizable groups. This will be an effective strategy that will allow you to focus on the readers interested in reading your book.
The three groups to divide your readers are:
Your social media followers will tell you a lot about who your followers are and their interests. For instance, by going through your social media and looking more closely at your followers, you can see what interests them. By using that information, you can easily find a theme within your audience that you can use or, at the very least, find inspiration.
Your purpose as an author and what and why you write should also be considered. For example, why do you write? Do you want to help people and solve a problem they might have? Or do you want to entertain through unique storytelling and style? Whatever the case, there’s an audience for that.
Creating your author’s website is one of the best ways to establish your brand and market yourself. Most authors get WordPress and design their site in a way that resonates with their brand. Authors then tailor the site to the books they have authored, which helps drive sales. But that’s not all an author site does. An author site will allow the author to blog, allowing them to express their opinions and write interesting articles. You can establish a newsletter, which can give your fans updates on book signing events or new books coming out. An author site is an effective way to display community outreach with your fans.
Your social media presence will be invaluable as it will help you catapult your presence as an author. Social media allows you to market your books, which can easily drive sales and, more importantly, engage with your audience more personally. This can also help you establish your author branding more quickly and easily. Especially when fans see that you are active and relatable on social media, they will be more inclined to support your art and cause.
Building connections with other authors can be overlooked, but it’s valuable. Unfortunately, this doesn’t happen as often as it should. Many authors seem to fear competition and want readers to believe their book is the only solution to their needs. However, most consumers enjoy having various options, like multiple movies, video games, and clothing items. Readers are abundant worldwide, and all authors can benefit from that.
It’s understandable to avoid recommending authors who are direct competitors in your genre, but creating a network with authors in different genres can be advantageous. Cross-promotion is an excellent way to spread your work to other communities who may be interested in what you have to offer. This can increase your exposure and visibility within the reading community, leading to great rewards for the authors who network together.
It is crucial to maintain your author branding to enjoy a longer tenure of recognition and sales. If you are an author who neglects their brand, or worse, takes it for granted. Your fan base will start to naturally erode; over time, you won’t have anyone who will care to buy your books. If your brand is tarnished to the point of no return, it won’t matter how awesome your books are or how great your style and prose are. The consumer won’t care.
As authors, the last thing you’ll want is your books to be exiled from being sold. But, a solid brand constantly evolving with the times will help you stay in good standing with consumers and attract the new generation of readers.
Here are the best practices to maintain and evolve your author branding:
Mastering the art of author branding is a journey that requires dedication, creativity, and a deep understanding of your unique voice. Throughout this blog, we have explored the various aspects and strategies of crafting a compelling author brand.
By defining your target audience, establishing a cohesive visual identity, and communicating your values, you can create a brand that resonates with readers and sets you apart. It is essential to remember that author branding is not a one-time task but an ongoing process that requires consistent effort and adaptation.
Stay true to yourself and your writing style as you continue on this path. Embrace authenticity and let your passion shine through in every aspect of your brand. Engage with your readers, build a solid online presence, and foster meaning through your words.