Happy Friday, peeps! And I mean that in the most loving way:) So, I feel like I’m having this weird, mystical, amazing season in my life where all the stars are aligned and my cup runneth over with meaningful connections. One such connection is Kathy Meis, who is founder and CEO of Bublish, the world’s first complete publishing solution with integrated brand-building and discoverability features. Kathy is the “ish” in the book publishing/marketing and promotion arena. Today, Kathy shares five simple steps to help craft an effective author brand.
Did you know that readers are fifteen times more likely to purchase a book from an author whose name they recognize? In a sea of content, readers flock to what they know. That’s why it has never been more important for writers to build an author brand.
What is an author brand? It is simply your promise to readers.
Authors are often uncomfortable with the idea of creating a brand around their writing. Yet, by being part of the social conversation, most are creating some type of brand whether they’re aware of it or not. Unfortunately, if they’re constantly asking readers to “buy their books” on social media, the brand they’re creating is that of a salesperson. Why not be more deliberate about the process and create an author brand that speaks to your audience and allows you to present yourself to the world as the talented creative writer that you are? In today’s crowded book marketplace, taking the time to craft an effective author brand will lead to a more engaged audience and ultimately more book sales.
If readers were asked to describe your author brand in a few words or phrases, what would they say? Do you know? If not, perhaps it’s worth taking some time to find out. Here are five simple steps to help craft an effective author brand:
1. Discover your brand. Explore and define your life-long aspirations, passions and goals as an author. When you start in a place of honesty, you will build a brand that is genuine and resonates with readers. Think of this part of the process like writing a mission statement for your writing career.
2. Ask hard questions. What makes your work compelling? What differentiates you and your writing in today’s book marketplace? How do readers perceive you and your work? Is that perception aligned with the perception you desire? Do the books you create and the way you market them help you cultivate your author brand and achieve your goals? How do you add value to your community of fans? This step needs to be interactive. Ask your readers for feedback. Figure out how your current readers see you. Then, decide if their feedback is aligned with the brand you want to build. If it is…awesome, the next steps are easier. If it is not, it’s time to stop and figure out why.
3. Create a plan. Map out a clear, long-term road map to help you reach your goals. This should include the types of books you will write (not necessarily just genre, specific qualities are important too), when you will release them, the way you will share them with the world, and the types of actions you will take on a regular basis to demonstrate the qualities and values for which you wish to be known. This step is all about creating a voice for your author brand. It’s about articulating what you’ve learned through steps 1 and 2. You’ve gathered information, now you need to put into a plan. One part of that plan is a road map for your career. The second part of that plan is a promotional content strategy that let’s the world know about your author brand.
4. Choose your platforms. Now that you’ve discovered and articulated your brand, it’s time to figure out the best places to communicate your brand’s message. Research social and real-world communication channels that target your audience. For example, if you write business books, you need to spend time in targeted LinkedIn group. If you write genre fiction, Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest are great places to explore. If you write young adult, you need to find a way to reach your audience on Instagram and YouTube. Execute your content plan, which you developed in Step 3, across the platforms that your audience uses. By the way, Bublish can help you share your stories and build your brand on all these platforms, so I hope you’ll check us out.
5. Commit to long-term execution of your plan. Building an effective author brand takes a long time. It requires commitment and consistency. Don’t give up on your road map just because you’re not seeing results quickly. In fact, let’s be clear, you will NOT see results quickly. However, if you craft a solid plan and commit to it, you will achieve your goals as an author.
I wish you the best of luck on the journey. Enjoy it. Embrace it. Being an author is hard work, but it’s an amazing gift.
Kathy Meis is the founder and CEO of Bublish, the world’s first complete publishing solution with integrated brand-building and discoverability features. With more than 25 years of experience in the media and publishing industries, she has served in a wide variety of editorial and management positions at some of the industry’s leading media companies, including CBS and Forbes, Inc. She is a founding partner of PubSmart, a publishing conference in Charleston, South Carolina, as well as a professional writer, editor, and ghostwriter. Kathy speaks and blogs regularly on the subject of book promotion, author branding, social marketing, and discoverability. She has appeared at many conferences, including Book Expo America, Women in Media, GrubSteet, PubSmart, and IndieRecon.
Awesome tips, Kathy! Thank you.
Are you focused on building your author’s brand? What tip/s from Kathy will you incorporate into your brand building?
Writer quote for today:
“All writing problems are psychological problems. Blocks usually stem from the fear of being judged. If you imagine the world listening, you’ll never write a line. That’s why privacy is so important. You should write first drafts as if they will never be shown to anyone.” — Erica Jong