Monday, September 17, 2018

What's your THING? 4 Steps to Building Your Brand

I love writing. I get a huge thrill when someone reads something I wrote and tells me they liked it--repeat customers who aren't relatives are the BEST!

But I never realized how much work, sacrifice, and embarrassment I would have to go through to promote myself. Selling yourself is awkward. Putting yourself out there is a huge risk. Some of you think rejection from query letters is a knife in the gut. Wait till you go to an event and don't sell a single book. Heart-wrenching! Why can't we just write a phenomenal book and be a big hit over night?? (I know, don't answer that)

I have come to terms with my lot in my writing life. Time management has new meaning after you're published. Since I love the writing and hate the marketing, I'm always looking for ways to make the latter easier so I can do more of the former!

One huge way to help get your books noticed is to Brand Yourself.
Your author name is your brand. Think about your favorite authors--you love reading their stuff and look for new releases by them. You like their style, their stories, their characters, and how they keep you wanting more! You have to make readers want that from YOU!

So here are some suggestions on
How to Brand Yourself:
  • First, Know Yourself - What do you write? Do you like to read your own genre? Where do you live? Do you like to travel? What part of the process are you best at? Worst at? What do you like to do? Do you have a job? On the surface, these questions will help you form a solid AUTHOR BIO. Looking deeper, you will discover more about yourself so you can relate to your readers.
  • Then, Know Your Readers - There's no stereotype for readers. They come in all shapes, sizes, and colors! Readers know what they like, and if they like what you write, you'll gain fans for life! To figure out what your readers like, you have to read the best sellers in your genre. If you read the genre you write, it's easy to do research!
  • Now, Go Get Them! -  Go to Book Events--try to speak on a panel and let readers get to know you. If you write sci-fi/fantasy, try going to some Sci Fi Cons. Romance & YA have conventions and events too. For a younger age group, try speaking at a school or children's book fair. You have to get yourself out there.
  • And Keep writing! - The more books you have out there, the more Your Name is out there and the more your fans will have to read and brag about, getting more people to notice you!
I'm still debating how to head up my blog to capture my brand. Here are a few great examples of Authors who have the right idea...

Stephanie Faris - Adorable Children's Author

Christine Rains - Scintillating Speculative Fiction

Elizabeth Seckman - Hopeless Romantic Writer

And my super cheesy SHOUT OUT OF THE WEEK!

Crystal Collier - YA Magical Journeys

I've known Crystal for many moons (ha ha). I love her whimsical posts, her sweet author showcases, and especially the "two truths and a lie" challenges. She's doing extremely well with an adorable houseful of rugrats and a bunch of books out there. Including her wonderful Maiden of Time series!

Crystal Collier is an eclectic author who pens clean fantasy/sci-fi, historical, and romance stories with the occasional touch of humor, horror, or inspiration. She practices her brother-induced ninja skills while teaching children or madly typing about fantastic and impossible creatures. She has lived from coast to coast and now calls Florida home with her creative husband, five littles, and “friend” (a.k.a. the zombie locked in her closet). Secretly, she dreams of world domination and a bottomless supply of cheese.

You can find her...
Amazon | Goodreads | Twitter | Facebook | Instagram | Pinterest

Hope you are in good spirits no matter what phase of the writing process you're in!


Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Crystal rocks!
Keep writing. I knew I was forgetting something...

L. Diane Wolfe said...

Knowing your readers is a big part of the battle.

Madeline Mora-Summonte said...

There are some authors where I automatically buy their books because I know - and love! - their "brand."

I have no idea how Crystal does it all! :)

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Tara - you've got a great name to be remembered by ... but you're right with the things you've suggested. Authors need to stand out ... you're on the right track - take care - cheers Hilary

Sarah Foster said...

I have no idea what my brand is at this point. I can't even figure out which age group my WIP is for! I'll just keep writing for now and hopefully figure it out later :)

Arlee Bird said...

I've kind of stopped thinking about branding like I used to, but I haven't been writing much either. It's probably time for a re-evaluation.

Your suggestions sound on target to me.

Arlee Bird
Tossing It Out

Elizabeth Seckman said...

Woo hoo! I did something right? I do love a good romance...

Crystal is the bomb. I need to channel some of her energy!

Patricia Lynne aka Patricia Josephine said...

I've only recently figured out my brand. Sometimes it just takes a while for inspiration to hit. Or in my case, stumble upon.

Loni Townsend said...

Woot! I do enjoy Crystal's books. I suppose I should look at my branding. It doesn't really represent my books.

Juneta key said...

I read somewhere recently that Branding is about selling you, not the book so much. Your voice, your style and if they like your voice and style they will want to read what you write. The article had a whole lot more than that but can't remember where I saw it or who write it to refer to it.

Great advice bookmarking.

Stephen Tremp said...

Best wishes to Crystal and here's to smashing success!

Branding is so important. Keep it simple. I got known as the wormhole guy for a few years. They could not remember my name but they remembered my face and the theme of my books.

Melissa said...

I've decided to separate genres by pen name, so I'm about to become an author with a multiple personality. OMG, branding is going to be a nightmare. >.<

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