Posts Tagged ‘Author Branding’

Author Branding – The Nitty Gritty

Part II

By: Jennifer Lovett Herbranson

In part one of Author Branding, we talked about what made you different. In this post, we’ll talk about putting that into practice.

An author brand is the experience you offer the reader. But how do you develop that?

First, determine who your ideal reader is.

What do they like, dislike, expect from your genre? Why do they read your genre?

This is important because if you don’t know who you’re trying to find to read your book, then you’re just spitting in the wind.

Write all this down on a list.

Second, decide what it is you, the author, offers the reader – besides books.

In this day and age, the author is as much the brand as the books. That doesn’t mean readers get to invade your private life, but it does mean they want to get to know you. Decide what they get to know.

Brainstorm your hobbies, interest and values you want to project. Add those to your list.

Third, add more. Your brand is you, the author, and your books.

What from your books can you use to create your brand? Locations and your characters’ hobbies, interests and careers provide a wealth of additional assets for your brand.

Brainstorm your books and add those to your list.

Fourth, put it altogether.

Look at your list and pick five or so items that you are comfortable consistently sharing across your platforms. These are what your author brand will be known for. Keep in mind, your reader is what matters. What will they consistently get out of your platform? These five items are it: the world or experience you are creating for them. THIS IS YOUR BRAND.

Fifth, time to pick colors and fonts.

What feeling do you and your books bring to the reader? Colors reflect feeling, so use appropriate ones. Red: aggression or romance. Yellow: cheer. Blue: calm. Black: haunting or ambition. Brown: soothing. White: purity or efficiency. Orange: enthusiasm, energy. Green: growth or fertility.

Fonts also reflect emotion. Frilly fonts are probably not best suited for horror books. Strong, bold fonts are good for mystery and thriller. Choose wisely.

Sixth, create your logo.

You can use a platform like Tailor Brands (www.tailorbrands.com) or Canva (www.canva.com) to help you.

The logo should reflect the brand you developed in the fourth bullet of this post. It’s a bit subjective and intuitive but you’ll know it’s the right one when you see it.

Seventh, be consistent.

Your colors, logo, font, values and persona should be consistent with every single thing you post online or develop for written products. A reader should be able to look at something and know it’s you.

Make sure your URL and all your social media handles are the same. Make sure your printed products all use the same font.

Your brand is what you offer. If you are clear on that, then your readers will be too. For a checklist to help you, click here.


Jennifer Lovett

Jennifer Lovett is the founder of Writer Nation, a podcast and Facebook group dedicated to helping writers market their work. With 17 years communications experience, she regularly writes on social media, internet marketing and face-to-face publicity.
You can find her on her WebsiteFacebookTwitter, and Pinterest: @jennylovett

Author Branding – How Are You Different?

Part 1

By Jennifer Lovett Herbranson

It seems like everybody is talking about “author brand” these days. Do you remember when all we talked about was “author platform”? It’s the same thing but I think it’s much easier to understand and develop a brand than a platform, especially for a fiction author.

What makes you distinct from other writers?

Do you Stand Out?

While branding does include logos and slogans, the bulk of it is what you offer the reader. It’s how you are different and stand out. What makes you distinct from other writers in your genre? Why should anyone want to read your work as opposed to anyone else’s?

Agents and editors ask writers this question all the time. They are looking for something different and unique. But it’s difficult sometimes to figure that out for ourselves.

I recently attended a branding seminar by a consultant firm that had nothing to do with writing, and it finally all clicked.

This firm used Marty Neumeier’s book Zag to help explain one aspect of brand, and I think it gets to the heart of everything writers need to develop the answer to their “uniqueness.” I’ve tweaked it to be specifically for writers and it starts with five questions.

5 Questions to Branding

1 – What do you offer?

This is your genre. Be clear and specific about which genre you write in. Romance isn’t enough. If it’s romantic suspense or romantic sci-fi, then say so. If you write thrillers, determine exactly what kind – spy thrillers, international thrillers, domestic thrillers, etc..

2- How is it different?

This is the twist on your take of the genre. Again, be specific. How is your romantic suspense unique? How is your international spy thriller different? This is the element of your brand that is unique to itself.

3- Where is it set?

Location can really help you set yourself apart. If everyone is writing about LA, and you write about Chicago, that’s great news. Location also gives you lots of color and character for your brand.

4- Who is it for?

Be very specific about your audience. Who is your reader? Have you done a reader sketch yet? Time to get on that.

5- What is the current trend?

Understanding and articulating the current trend is the foundation for how you explain the way you stand out.
What is everyone else writing right now? Vampires? Great then you write werewolves.
Thrillers in the Soviet Union? Awesome, because you’re writing about them in China.

“Only” Statements

Now that you’ve answered all these questions. Put it together in your “only” statement. Here are a couple of examples to help you:

Example #1:

Dan Brown is the only thriller author writing Catholic-themed adventure stories set in Rome for action readers in an era when the market is saturated with Middle Easter terrorists’ thrillers.

Example #2:

Stephenie Meyer is the only young adult shifter romance author writing vampires and werewolves set in Washington State for teenagers in an era when the market is saturated with vampire-only romances.

Example #3: (ok, this is my group, but had to make a quick plug!)

Writer Nation is the only book marketing group for authors that espouses a marketing strategy where authors get to be writers first and marketers second in an era when the publishing industry is expecting them to do the bulk of their own marketing.

Once you’ve figured out your “only” statement. You have the foundation to build every other aspect of your author brand. More on those other aspects in Part 2, next week.


Jennifer Lovett Herbranson

Jennifer Lovett is the founder of Writer Nation, a podcast and Facebook group dedicated to helping writers market their work. With 19 years communications experience, she regularly writes on social media, internet marketing and face-to-face publicity.
She currently lives in South Korea and travels around Asia for fun.
You can find her on her WebsiteTwitter, and Instagram: @writernationjen