Branding for Authors with Chanticleer Book Review’s Kiffer Brown
Enjoy this guest post from Chanticleer Book Review’s Kiffer Brown, returning as a featured faculty speaker to this year’s PubSense Summit.
Identity is a brand. A brand is a warranty. A warranty is a promise, an assurance. It allows people to know what they should expect in a transaction. It allays fear of committing to a transaction or an agreement or an emotional investment.
Branding helps you to distinguish yourself from the other millions of authors and associate yourself and your works with authors and books within a particular niche of publishing.
Effective author branding leads to increased book sales.
Make sure that your author’s website exudes your branding, your identity. The first thing that any bookseller, agent, librarian, publisher, or media professional will do before investing any amount of time or money into your book is to visit your website. It is of the utmost importance that your website makes a professional and consistent impression that communicates your brand, your identity. Your “author branding” should reflect your work in the best possible ways that are compelling to your book(s)’ target market.
Your brand should come across vividly on or with your:
- author name or pen name
- social media platforms (Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, Reddit, etc.)
- book covers
- marketing materials
- author persona at book signings, conferences, conventions, panel discussions
- blog posts
- social media posts
- business cards & book marks
- visual content
- typography and layout of books
- advertising venues and tactics
Consistency, constancy, and authenticity are what will add value to your branding efforts.
How to Determine What Your Author Identity/Brand Is?
The brand should focus on your writing, your books. Answering these questions will help you to focus on what your branding should be:
What is the overriding theme to your works? What is your passion that comes through in your writing? What makes your work compelling? What are the values that you are trying to convey with your writing? What is the “mood” of your works? What sort of emotions do your works generate in readers? What is the most unique quality about your writing? What makes your writing stand apart from others? What is the ‘voice’ of your books?
- How will your branding add to your readers’ experience?
- Can you identify your readers?
- Can your readers identify with your book? What is the touchstone? (a huge argument for taking time for social media)
- Why does your book resonate with its readers?
Building Audience with Branding
Your branding should help you build audience. Your branded website is your calling card in the Interverse. It is the home-base for all aspects of your business as an author. It is the touchstone of all your marketing and promotional efforts as an author.
How will readers, who you will probably never meet in person, decide to read your book? How will you communicate across the Interverse to compel them to take a chance on your book? To invest their time reading your books? To forge a virtual connection with you as an author? To be able to “connect” with you and your work?
Don’t feel overwhelmed. It is good to remember that websites and digital collateral (your digital footprint in the Interverse i.e. website, social postings, blogposts, etc.) are dynamic, changing entities. You can add, subtract, adjust, pivot, and enhance your Interverse presence. You can add new websites for new books and new pen names. Nothing is carved in stone.