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Sunday, June 11, 2017

Building your author brand

cj Sez: If you saw a new book and the author was Stephen King, you'd expect to read a work of horror/psychological fiction from this prolific storyteller. How about if the author was Dame Agatha Christie? You’d expect something 180 degrees from King’s genre: cozy crime mysteries.

What you’ve just done is recognized these two authors’ unique brands.

If I said, “Murder on the Orient Express,” you’d automatically think cozy mystery written by Agatha Christie.  If I said, “She’s been nominated for the Agatha Award,” you’d know I meant Agatha Christie and you’d know what kind of story is being considered for the award.

Stephen King + Misery (Or Cujo or Carrie or The Shining, et al.) = Stephen King Brand: horror/psychological fiction.

When readers recognize your name, they’ve recognized your brand.

Building your author brand needs to be one of the first things you do, even if you are yet to be published. Start with a Facebook page. It’s free. Set up a blog site, and make sure the theme, style and voice of the two are consistent. Use similar colors and fonts in signage, swag, banners for book signings, and business cards. You want your readers to identify you and your name by your ideas and concepts. I wear my squash blossom necklace to every event I attend. 

Author taglines can be difficult if not misleading if you write in multiple genres, and I don’t have one because of this. But if you can find some link between all of your novels, you can develop a line or two about that common thread. For instance, in THE POSSE anthology, the old West settings, romance, and human interest themes are common among the stories. The tagline: “An Anthology of Historical Western Romances, by seven authentic western writers, is a romping wild ride into the wide open ranges of America’s west – filled with thrills and romance.”

Since I write action/adventure style stories, if someone asks what kind of novels I write, I say: “Jane Bond-style romantic suspense,” and they recognize that I write romance with strong heroines.

Perhaps, like author Carolyn Haines ( ), you are into animal rescues. Make sure your readers know this. Author Tracy Weber is a certified yoga instructor, loves dogs and mysteries, and writes the Downward Dog mysteries  ( )

Now you can develop a brand summary by defining who “you” are or what your books are about.

Because Carolyn Haines has written more than 70 books in different genres and under different names, she has brand recognition under different names. She accommodates that brand summary on her website thusly:

“Welcome to my website. I’m a writer, lover of animals, reader, teacher, and mischief maker. Perhaps it’s the last category that I most want to excel at!”

All of the above are just ideas to get you thinking about that important marketing tool, your author brand.

That’s it for today’s post. You-all guys keep on keeping on, and I’ll try to do the same. Questions? Comments? Drop me a note. I promise to answer.

COMING ATTRACTIONS . . . Arriving July 10:  A new Crimson Romance bundle about athletes and the sports they love, Bodies in Motion, includes Choosing Carter (rafting and off-roading)     Watch for it on Amazon.
Ebook bundles still available on Amazon:  More Than Friends and California Kisses 

“Bad Day at Round Rock” short story in The Posse anthology @
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  1. Great points, and something I spend way too much time thinking about!

  2. cj Sez: Hi Amy. Author brand is part of what sells your good writing. There are so many entries into the book market now and the competition is fierce. I look at James Patterson and what he's doing now to keep his books on people's minds, and know I've missed on several fronts. Best wishes for your writing successes.

  3. You make great points. I am working on my brand and trying to collate everything into one point.

    How did you add reactions to your blog post? I want to add them to mine. :)

  4. cj Sez: Thanks for stopping by, and I've been watching you work on your put me to shame. Re the reactions: I didn't set up the blog, and the lady who did has since died. I checked the page and didn't find any "gadgets" that said these were added. It seems they may be part of the Blogger template. Sorry I couldn't be of more help. Keep up the good work on your brand and marketing efforts!


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