Blogger: Mary Keeley
I often talk to writers who are confused about the necessity of author branding and what goes into determining their unique brand. The quick answer is that the best way to guard your author identity is to establish and maintain a clearly defined brand. Readers begin to associate your name with your particular voice, style, content, and genre. They become synonymous. That’s the beauty and reliability of a well-established brand identity.
Establishing your author brand is essential to creating a consistent perception in readers’ minds. Voice, writing style, personality, passion, and themes—these qualities establish your unique identity within your chosen genre. No one else can do these the same way you do. And these unique qualities of yours are what attract your readers to your books. So it’s important that they are present consistently in everything you write. Think Karen Kingsbury. What comes to mind? Think Debbie Macomber or John Maxwell or Rick Warren. What brand qualities come to mind when you see these well-known names?
You know your personality, but it takes lots of practice at writing to discover your special voice and develop your writing style. This is why many authors don’t get their first, or second, or even third books published. But these works still have incredible value as learning and discovery tools. Blogging is another way to practice your writing.
Get started by asking yourself the following questions. You might find them elementary at first glance, but bear with this exercise. You could gather additional insights into identifying your brand or refining your current brand concept:
- Have I chosen the genre that best suits my interests and passions, or am I going for what is currently popular? Genre popularity is cyclical, so choosing by that standard alone is a mistake and won’t result in your best writing if it’s the wrong fit for you.
- What are the characteristics of the readers I want to attract? How can I touch their deepest needs? How can I give back to them?
- Nonfiction writers: What topics am I most passionate about? How can I convey my message through my unique writing style? Fiction writers: What kinds of stories do I want to write? What values do I want to express in the characters I create?
Genre selection, voice, personality, passion, writing style. These have to be clear to you before you can define your brand with confidence. It may be helpful to ask your critique partners or mentors for their perspectives on you as well as your values and strengths. Others often see qualities we miss in ourselves.
What did you learn about yourself through this little exercise? Do you think you have identified your brand accurately? How might your current brand concept need refining? In which areas do you think you need to give more thought?
This little exercise will help you to define your author brand. Click to Tweet.
Author branding is vital to a successful writing career. Learn more here. Click to Tweet.