Tuesday, July 28, 2009

An Author IS a Brand


Okay, so for those of you who have been following the blog, you know that my day job is as a Brand Wrangler (Account Manager) for a company called Brand Iron.  This means the strategy behind branding is a huge part of my life and I find that it's applicable in many ways. 

One thing that I think will be to my advantage as I finish my book and begin to peddle it around to agents and publishers is that I understand that my book is a product.  

Now, I know.  Authors are artists and they want their book appreciated for the masterpiece it is.  But let's face it, the publisher wants to make money - and they want to continue to make money in the future with the new author they pick up.  This means when they sign a new author, the publisher is making an investment.  When this happens, the author themselves becomes a brand.  That is to say, they should become a brand.   

How can a person be a brand?
 
Well, I'll tell you.  It's the same as any business. 
It takes research and attractively packaging products and services, or in this case, your abilities and assets in such a way that differentiates you from the competition, other authors.  

Once you have a niche or have found that sweet spot of "white space" for yourself (and this could include a unique writing style, a specific topic or audience you focus on, etc.), you position yourself as an expert to your target audience.  

If you write about teenage werewolves, or historical fiction or you really understand the dynamics of generation Y, you probably have a specific group of people who love to read what you are an expert on.  Some groups are larger than others, but if the group exists, they will read what you have to say.  And once you have a captive audience, keep writing to them.  

Now does this mean that you're stuck writing the same thing forever?  No.  That could get old really fast.  But if the "you" brand is to be a strong one, stick with it for a while.  Be consistent.  Give the readers what they want.    

As an unpublished hopeful, be the most appealing asset to publishers as you can possibly be.    

1.  Be an expert.  

2.  Be consistent.

3.  Know how to promote yourself.  Whether in person, through a query letter or through social media, you should know what makes you and your story special and how to communicate that.  

4.  Educate yourself on publishing so that you come across as a confident, educated author that can just dive right in. 

5.  Be ready to pitch at all times.  You never know who you'll meet or when.  Preparation is what most people mistake as "luck."

6.  Consider taking some public speaking classes and get good at being off the cuff in front of a lot of people or cameras.  With some practice, this shouldn't be too difficult- and this also helps further differentiate yourself from the competition because many people have a debilitating fear of speaking in public. 
"So mister publisher, you could actually put me on a book tour or a talk 
show and I won't freeze.  I can personally promote my book."  
Extra brownie points.       

7.  This is all on top of having a great story to tell that is well-written.  Because we all know that a brand is nothing if the product isn't good.  


A callous way of looking at it?  Or realistic?  Let me know what you think.  

Please vote on my book poll if you get a chance. 

Thanks for reading, 

L



  




 





6 comments:

THE FAMILY NIKKEL said...

Will we read your book!? Of course- I'd happily get in line to read it based on the synopsis. Also- you would make an amazing brand; you are incredibly cute and that in itself would add to your book sales.

jojewelry said...

Lauren, I really like your post on "An Author is a Brand." This holds true for people that are in business for themselves as well. Keep writing.

Jewels said...

I think you are in this job/industry for a reason. It's awesome that you realize that publishers are out to make money and you have to market yourself and your book and not just "write well". :) Yay Lauren!

Lauren said...

Nikkels,
Thanks for your vote! ; )
I do need to really nail down the synopsis more so I don't ramble so much. Ha! But I'm glad you like the "unscripted version."

If cuteness could sell books and you say I've got it, that would be awesome.
I'm so glad to see you on here!

Lauren said...

Absolutely Jo -
And it's really not that difficult to do.
There may be a lot to think about, but once you're an established brand - it's a cakewalk.

Thanks for the comment!
L

Lauren said...

Jewels,
You are too cute!
Thanks so much for all the encouragement and support.

L