5 Ways Authors Can Begin To Brand Themselves By Lunch Time
Come Up With A Distinctive Pen Name
Self-explanatory, huh? Yes. It is, but sometimes even the simplest things get screwed up and over. What’s your pen name? Is it your real name? Is it a pseudonym? How did you come up with it? Most importantly, in five years, will you still be satisfied with it. Personally, Mercy B is a pen name that I can’t ever loosen the reigns of. It is truly my name. However, I’ve decided to write under a different name. It isn’t because Mercy isn’t distinctive or unique. It is because I am ready for a fresh start, which means letting go of the most important aspect of my career.
When coming up with your pen name, consider the following questions:
Will this name still be meaningful to me in a few years?
Does this name sound silly or “too fictional”?
Should I go with my “real” name, which I will never outgrow?
Is this name taken?
Is this name distinctive?
Create A Moodboard That Summarizes The Overall Look & Feel Of Your Brand, Never Stray Unless Undergoing A Rebrand
Moodboards. Some consider them pointless. Some only create them for fun and never look at them, again. Personally, I find them very resourceful. Creating a moodboard as an author will consist of a few elements rather than an overall visual of how you want your brand to look. Your moodboard will also include visuals of the mood you want your readers in when reading your books.
Every author has a niche, the one trope, topic or character that they cling to in every story. When they attempt to write outside of their niche, it doesn’t exactly pan out or feel quite right. Well, this special something is what keeps your readers flocking to your products by the thousands. It puts them in a mood. When creating your moodboard, keep this in mind. What message are you sending and what message do you want to be received?
Moreover, your moodboard will keep you in line at all times. Your social media. Your storylines. Your promotional graphics. Your covers. Your release strategy. Everything.
Place A Signature Font On Your Covers
I’m pretty sure that you’ve heard of Grey Huffington, the Romance writer. If you haven’t heard of her, then you’ve probably seen her big bold name plastered on a cover. Right now… if you were to log onto Grey’s author profile on Amazon, there is one thing that ever cover will have in common. The font on each of the covers is exactly the same, no matter the color or position. Each cover is much different from the next, but that one common thread keeps them all on brand. It has become her signature. It is something that readers have grown accustomed to. It is repetitive and repetition is a huge part of branding. It’s the foundation, what a brand is built from. I’m almost certain that if you mention the name Grey to a reader who has seen her covers, the first image that pops into their head is the bold font that is on each and every cover she owns.
Please note that your pen name isn’t the only font you can specialize. If you like variety when it comes to the name on your cover, then this method can work with your titles as well. Find a font or color that you absolutely love and use it on every cover that you own. Consult with your designer to make sure that they know your new preferences. Communication is key in this situation.
So, what’s your brand’s signature font?
Create A Writing, Release Or Post Release Strategy That Readers Can Begin To Look Forward To.
Going back to that thing called repetition. Create a process and stick to it. Let’s take author A.C. Taylor for example. Recently, she’s began to broadcast her word count. Each day, she posts a picture of her progress and tell a little about her writing day on Instagram. As a result, readers (authors, too) tend to cheer her own. They’re able to pinpoint where she is in her storyline and what they have to look forward to. As well, it gives them an idea of when they can expect some new content. By no means am I telling you to steal A.C. Taylor’s strategy, but I am using it as an example of repetition that yields results in your brand.
Maybe you can consider cover reveals as a part of your strategy. Character introductions are always nice. Character visuals are apart of some people’s strategy. Promotion is also apart of some’s strategy. The point I’m trying to make here is that creating a strategy is something that we all should consider. When readers can pinpoint certain aspects of your writing process, it is actually a good thing.
Whether that is a surprise element or element of expectancy. Nicole Falls, for example, is known for a good surprise release which keeps readers on edge and always tuned into what she has going on. They never know what to expect from her or when to expect it. Though this doesn’t seem like a strategy, it is. It is a darn good one, too. Whatever you choose as your strategy just stick with it until your readers begin to find comfort in it, whether it is surprise releases or full promo spreads.
Align Your Social Presence With Your Brand
So, this pretty much sums up EVERYTHING that has been written in this blog. After you’ve decided on all of the above tips, then your brand should transfer to your social presence seamlessly. The posts you make on your Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and every other platform you’re own should match your brand’s desire.
And, don’t think that your brand’s identity stops at social media. This must carry over to social events, engagements, speaking opportunities, vending opportunities and so on. Everything must correlate. Don’t be the big bold brand online and the dismantled has-been at events. Make sure that your shit is together all the way across the board.
That kind of concludes this blog. It’s lunch time. I’ve been hard at work on a brand that hasn’t exactly been introduced to the public and managed to have every step I’ve listed completed before my daughter was screaming my name to fix her lunch for the day. You can do the same.