Create a brand
In writing, the author is the brand. And that means you. You need to present yourself in your communications with potential readers in a way you are comfortable with and which is related to the books you expect to be promoting. An important part of this is to know which genre you are working in. It’s invidious, I know, but received wisdom is that if you work in more than one genre, you probably need two different names and two different brands. When you are putting yourself out there and finding ways to talk about your book, don’t forget what your brand is – who you want people to see you as. Stay focused.
Creating an author platform is vital for a new author’s success, and creating a brand is the basis for the platform. You need to know what you are creating before you start!
Branding is more simple than it sounds. Anything that relates to the theme or plot of your books is included in your brand. To decide on your brand, answer the following questions:
- How do you want to be known?
- What words do you want people to associate with you?
- What are your goals for the next 3 years?
- What words are associated with that?
- Will your books be in a particular genre?
- Who do you admire and want to emulate in writing and also as a brand?
Find their websites and keep screen-prints of what you like and don’t like. Use them as a model (but obviously no plagiarism!)
You stand to gain more attention by using elements of your brand and keyword search terms because this is what your intended audience will be searching for. Your writing themes and plots will give you the necessary keywords you are looking for. It is a good idea to do your research on best SEO practices and also conversion rates of keywords and long tail keywords (which tend to convert more traffic). Keyword Research Resources: Where do we get all of this knowledge about keyword demand and keyword referrals? From research sources like these:
- Google AdWords Keyword Planner Tool
- Google Trends
- Microsoft Bing Ads Intelligence
- Wordtracker’s Free Basic Keyword Demand
If you have a website already, enter it into a keyword tool.
Are you happy with the keywords associated with your site? Do you need to change your focus?
- What images do you want associated with you and your brand?
- You also need to know what you want for your future, because if you can’t see the brand extending over multiple books you have hard work ahead!
State your purpose to help create your brand message. The more words you remove from your description of your purpose, the stronger the words that remain become. Be focused. When you are just starting out, when you are still developing that core audience – err on the side of being specific. Focus on the topics you discuss, the audiences you target and the way you describe your work.
If you are an independent author, your website merely serves as a placeholder on the web without a means with which your fans can interact. It’s not only your fans you want visiting anyway, you want to drive new prospective readers to your book, and to you, as an author. The most effective way to do this is by engaging people through an author branded blog.
Whether you like it or not, it is your responsibility to market yourself and your book. No matter how timid or shy you may be, if you intend on more than fifty people buying and reading your book, you will have to put some real effort into marketing yourself. The simple truth is, get over it! You are now in business as an author, and you have a product and a brand of hopeful value to offer a large portion of the public. Now you are given the task of promoting what you have created to the people who will want it.
The best place to start your author platform is with an author blog. Create your blog and have it available on your website (I suggest you go through WordPress as it is the most inexpensive method to get yourself in the public view, it enables you to share your content across many social networks, it is user friendly, offers a wide range of widgets and customizations, and it gives you the option of purchasing your own domain name so your blog will serve as your website).
For the most critical tips to attract a crowd and sell more books through blogging see WHY AUTHOR BLOGGING: HOW TO ATTRACT A CROWD AND SELL MORE BOOKS