Building Your Author Brand by Beth Barany
You’re a creative writer. Maybe you write romance, and maybe you write other things too. You probably want to market and sell your stories to readers. But you may not know where and how to begin.
Maybe you’re being dragged kicking and screaming to the idea that you need to market your work at all.
Your Author Brand
What does this have to do with building an author brand, you may wonder?
Let’s define our terms.
In the broadest sense, your author brand is the promise of an experience the reader will get every time they read one of your books, encounter your marketing material, like your website, your social media, your visual material (digital and physical), and any other aspect of your professional author self. Yes, including public appearances.
While we creatives don’t like to be hemmed in, readers on the other hand what to know what they’re buying.
For romance, they want to know they’re going to get their Happily Ever After, but the kind they love.
One of the biggest beginner mistakes authors make in presenting themselves to readers, and even to other authors, who could be fans, is to say they write romance. Then they stop.
Then I ask, “What kind?” and they may look at me blankly.
They know what kind of romance they write but may have never thought of how to express that.
What are some possible answers to the question, “What do you write?”
An author could say, “I write Otherworldly Romantic Adventures.” (Keri Kruspe). Or, “I write new pulp fiction romance.” (Carol Malone). Or “I write magical tales of romance, mystery, and adventure.” (mine)
Of course, you can also say you write shifter romance, or contemporary military romance, or magical paranormals, or small-town Western romances.
(More on how to discover how to write your author branding statement here: http://writersfunzone.com/blog/2011/01/04/your-clear-message-get-your-potential-readers-curious-now/.)
The first step in knowing your author brand
The first step in knowing your author brand is know how to describe your type of romances in a way your potential readers can identify. Ideally, you want to describe it in words they use.
Another key step in building your author branding is to list the values and themes presented in your book and pick the strongest one. What I’ve discovered in working with hundreds of authors is that their core values are the story’s core values.
This might look like:
- One must do the honorable thing for love and country.
- Family above all.
- Home is wherever my beloved is.
- Do the right thing even at great cost.
- It’s okay to love again.
- Love must be obeyed above all.
- Love always finds a way.
What is the core value of your story?
Even though the reader may not consciously know why, she is drawn to the deep values you reveal through your story.
Get clear on the main core value that permeates through your story — perhaps with the help of your trusted writing buddies – and then use it in how you present yourself to the reader.
Let your core values influence the words you choose to describe what you write, the colors you chose for your site and any social media images, and how to write your bio, what blog posts you write, what you share about your public author persona – everything.
Let me know if you have any questions. And good luck!
First published in “Promotion Posse” column of the Heart of the Bay, a monthly newsletter for member of the San Francisco Area chapter of Romance Writers of America.
The Promotion Posse is a monthly column in Heart of the Bay newsletter, spotlighting promotional strategies for authors, written by members of SFA-RWA with a knack for PR. Award-winning novelist, creativity coach for writers, and Master Teacher, Beth Barany, shares tips and tools about crafting fiction, the creative life, and the business of being an artist at www.writersfunzone.com/blog. Her latest book for writers is Plan Your Novel Like A Pro: And Have Fun Doing It!.
Core Values in Action
Want to explore putting your Core Values into action for your book marketing? Then consider our suite of book marketing courses here.
ABOUT BETH BARANY
Award-winning fantasy novelist, Master NLP Practitioner, and certified creativity coach for writers, Beth Barany runs Barany School of Fiction, a full suite of courses designed to help genre fiction writers experience clarity and get writing, so they can revise and proudly publish their novels to the delight of their readers.
She’s also the author of books for writers, including Plan Your Novel Like A Pro, cowritten with her husband, thriller writer Ezra Barany.