Sunday, October 30, 2011

Emerald City Writer's Conference : Author Branding with Angela James

Branding Magic with Angela James

Author brand – it’s not the cartoon avatar on Twitter, Facebook, websites, it’s not your tagline. Those are components of it, but brand is how you become known for your voice, quality, genre. A brand is a promise for what you deliver to readers every time they pick up your book. An expectation.

10 tactics to creating a successful author brand

  1. Consistently publish quality editorial – if there is nothing else you do, write good books. Excellent editorial is the only controllable factor in good sales. Learn your craft, listen to your editor, apply what you’ve learned. Deliver the best book you can write. Readers expect every book to be better than the last.
  2. Write in a consistent style – Not about genre. Strong voice, good story, compelling characters. Helen Kay Dimon’s banter and dialogue, Susanna Fraser’s historical accuracy. Find your voice, not by rewriting the same book but learning from each project.
  3. Focus on a genre or style – build yourself in one genre first, after you are well established you can branch out.
  4. Write connected books – there is a reason Nora write trilogies. They are money. Easier to market a series. Have a plan for connected books from the beginning. Have a marketing hook and a series name
  5. Publish connected books close together – deliver on time, do edits quickly and well, keep writing the next book and the next book so you have a steady stream of books coming in. do your part to make it easier for your editor and publisher. Don’t flood your market. Readers will be suspicious of an author putting out a book a month
  6. Spend time marketing yourself every week – you don’t have to do everything. Do one thing and do it well. Spend 15 minutes on Twitter or Facebook every morning. Write a newsletter – they are a powerful tool.
  7. Develop and maintain a good author website – your biggest supporter of your brand. You control your brand and the information getting out there
  8. Create a career plan – where do you want to be in 5 years. How many books, what genre, which publishers.
  9. Develop your brand statement – you don’t know what your brand is until you verbalize it. Think of it as a bio for your writing. You don’t have to publicize it, you do have to know it.
  10. Consistently publish quality editorial. Do not publish an okay book. It betrays your brand. Readers don’t start reading your books because someone else is publishing something similar. They stop reading your books because it isn’t want they expected.

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