B is for Brand – Self Publishing from A to Z
What is a brand?
In my opinion, a brand is the lasting impression your product (or you) leave behind on a person. It’s what distinguishes you from the rest. It’s what makes you better than your competitors. On my own website, I use animal imagery merged with writing/reading glasses in black and white offset against bright colours. I want my readers to remember that blog with the animals. The Zoo, is my metaphor for how crazy it can get in publishing, but it doesn’t have to get WILD.
Your author brand is as important in self publishing as it is in traditional publishing. In marketing, they always tell you to find your niche. This is what sells. I originally found this a hard concept because I would always flit from one idea to another, going with the flow. But after many years of crazy, I’ve seen the truth in those words. The day I decided to share my writing efforts, tips and ideas on Pinterest was the day that more people started visiting my profile. When I altered my profile to include mostly writing, blogging and design tips, I got more visitors. In some ways you have to work harder at getting yourself known, but in other ways, you have more freedom. You can be whoever you want, and focus on whatever niche you want.
How can it help you?
It will help you be remembered. The brain naturally ignores white noise, but something that stands out? Well, it stands up and takes notice. Writers who focus on one particular style sell more because their audience is more likely to buy the next book when they know what to expect. It’s a safer purchase when you’re less likely to be disappointed. You just need to find what it is about that style, or genre that you can do a little bit different. Think about how you create a character with a quirk so the readers remember him better. You as a writer should celebrate what makes you different, it is what will make you stand out. Laini Taylor dyes her hair pink and she’s proud of it. People always remember her as that pink haired author, but do you know what? It works. She is remembered and for just being herself. Find that thing about yourself that sets you apart.
Tips for the Author
- Find your individual niche as a person – What is it about you or your personality that is different? If you are a super happy-go-lucky gal, maybe brand your blog in bright colours. Do you love to garden? Filter this love in all your work, let it bleed into your writing. Maybe all of your covers have flowers entwined, maybe your books are set in secret gardens… I don’t know but can you see a pattern forming?
- Find your niche as a writer – What genre do you love to read, chances are it’s what you love to write. Learn all you can about that genre, research other authors and see what you can do better.
- Find a common theme or symbol – for me as a blogger, it’s all about the animals. Visually, I’m keeping my site using the same sort of imagery, and colouring. For me as an author, I plan to have a similar element or style that will carry across all of my books in a series, so I’m easily recognisable.
- Combine the three and find what you can offer your readers that set’s you apart from the rest. What experience do you give your readers? Coca-cola are the uplifting refreshment people. They use red and white. They expect you to have fun, lots of energy and good times when drinking their drink. That’s an experience they associate with a drink. What experience will your readers associate with reading your books, and visiting your blogs or social media accounts?
Next post in the A to Z self publishing series is ‘C is for Costs’