Branding is an essential element of successfully selling your book, but it doesn’t stop at creating the right look and advertising message for the book itself. Author branding is also crucial in today’s social media-driven world. While a book can stand on its own merits, the wrong author branding can be devastating to its reputation and sales.
What Is Author Branding?
Author branding is your personal story, including why you write, what you write about, and who you are writing for (aside from yourself, of course). It conveys your values and beliefs, creating interest in you as an author. Your author brand familiarizes readers with your writing style and genre. If your author branding is effective, readers will recognize your brand the minute they see one of your books.
Are you resisting the idea of branding yourself as a commodity? Let go of the perception of “branding” as a big business concept. You are selling your book, and your image is linked closely to your book’s image. How you package yourself will reflect on your book either negatively or positively.
Think of books you’ve read in the past based on knowing something about the author. Perhaps you saw an interview with them or read an article about their life and the inspiration behind their latest book. Either way, that author’s image created a desire in you to buy their book.
Why Is Author Branding So Important?
Stephen King is the ultimate example of the importance of author image in marketing your book. He was already wildly successful writing under his real name when he first published a novel under the pseudonym Richard Bachman. His Bachman books didn’t sell well because most readers who loved his writing had no reason to pick up and read something by an untried writer they don’t recognize. When his identity was discovered and publicized, the sales of the Bachman titles soared. Why? Because of the Stephen King brand.
Having positive author branding tied to your book’s topic or genre establishes you as an expert in the subject. Particularly for non-fiction books, having an active author platform can enhance sales. For fiction writers, it can help create a following of readers looking forward to your next book.
What is Your Author Image?
Your author image reflects who you are, representing your personality, your interests, and why you write. It creates a rapport with your readers. An appropriately crafted author image conveys your brand and encourages interest in your books. Consistent author branding across multiple platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, and print media helps solidify your image.
While your author branding should be true to who you are and what your books are about, you can be creative in how you present it. Take advantage of graphics, fonts, photographs, and other elements to tell your story. The mood can be serious, light-hearted, romantic, or mysterious. You choose what illustrates your unique persona. This includes everything from the color palette and font you use. Romantic pinks and curling script will project a different author image than blacks and greys with a typewriter font.
One of the essential elements of author branding is a head shot – a head and shoulders photograph of you. Readers love getting to know authors and feeling a personal connection, and photos are one of the most effective ways to do this. If your image is whimsical and silly as a children’s book author, try to capture this. Smile, wear a funky hat, stand out. If you’ve written a chemistry textbook, a picture of you in the lab can illustrate your expertise and experience.
Work with your publisher to keep your author branding consistent and positive. They will incorporate your image in everything from your book jacket and back cover to press releases and media kits.
Dudley Court Press
Dudley Court Press works with writers like you every day. As a full-service, hybrid publishing house, we help thoughtful people write their books and become successful published authors. Contact us to discuss our assisted self-publishing option today.
For more information, including about DCP’s latest programs, please get in touch at +1-520-329-2729 or publisher@DudleyCourtPress.com. We will soon be launching our latest program, Memoir Writing for Non-Writers. Be watching for details about this exciting program in the upcoming weeks!