The Blitz

12 secret ingredients for creating an author brand

Writer Platform, Author Brand - What you Need to Know to Get Started

This week I’m thinking about writers creating an author brand this year.  You don’t have to be an expert, you just have to be different – you have to offer something to build an effective author brand

Over the years I’ve met more and more writers willing to forgo the traditionally publishing route for the indie route because of the need to focus on the writer platform.

An author brand is the experience you offer the reader, inside and outside the book.

Even with a traditional deal, you’ll have to spend lots of time building up that brand.

Many writers figure, why go traditional when they have to do all the marketing work anyway? I’m not here to argue one way or the other on that question. There are good reasons to go either route.

Traditionally publishing gives you instant street cred and a wider distribution.

Indie is a lot of work that gives you a lot more control over your books.

Regardless of the route, the marketing is on you.

First you need to understand what an effective author brand is.

Platform is a holdover term for nonfiction authors who have the credentials to help people solve problems.

For fiction writers, it’s the author brand.

It’s the experience you as the author bring to the reader in your books and in your online presence.

Once you’ve developed a solid author brand, it’s time to spread that brand in order to create buzz for your career and your books.

Below are twelve ways to do that.

1- Determine your uniqueness.  Have you developed your only-ness statement yet?

How is what you offer different than every other mystery author out there?

Brainstorm and write down three things.

Here’s mine:

Writer Nation is the only marketing philosophy that advocates focused, planned marketing so writers have more writing time in an era when the industry pushes authors to be everywhere all the time.

2- Decide what you offer.

Seth Godin says, “People don’t buy things, they buy experiences.”

So what experience will you provide?

Writer Nation offers candid accessibility to a 20-year veteran of marketing.

3- How does that experience feel?

Your genre offers a feeling.

What emotion do readers feel when they read your genre?

Tap into it and figure out what feeling you want readers to have when they read your work or visit your social.

Writer Nation aims to give writers permission to write so they feel less overwhelmed with marketing.

4- What else will you share?

Readers buy from authors they know, like and trust.

What are you willing to share with them so they can feel like they know you?

I love Alabama football, traveling and drinking lots of coffee.

5- What values do you represent?

You are running a small business.

Businesses offer values to customers.

What values should your readers see when they find you online?

I value honesty, straightforwardness and inspiration.

6- With what tone will you deliver those values?

Tone helps define the experience.

Sweet romances are not harsh and angry.

Thrillers are not sweet and bubbly.

Writer Nation strives to offer inspiration and candid advice in an open, friendly manner.

6- Pick your pen name

Names also reflect brand.

They reflect genre and tone.

I write under Jenny Kate because I think it’s friendly and accessible. Jennifer Lovett Herbranson sounds like a stodgy old professor to me.

7- Choose a slogan

Make this absolutely clear and concise.

Wrap up your onlyness statement, values, experience all in one line.

Writer Nation: launching authorpreneurs

8- Decide on colors

Colors also reflect meaning. Red can be blood or love or sex.

Black can be power or danger.

Green can be fun or adventurous.

Writer Nation’s colors are blue and silver because blue is calming.

9- Design your logo

You should love this because you’ll be stuck with it a while.

TailorBrands is a great tool for helping you create a logo.

10- Where will you be located online?

You’ll need a website and at least one social account.

Pick a web host that is easy for you to use. WordPress hosts nearly 80% of all websites.

Pick a social account you’ll enjoy using. If you don’t like it, neither will your readers.

11- Design your online presence.

Use Canva to help you design social media or website banners, posts, logos, .

It’s super easy.

12- Be consistent.

Every site you decide to use (and I recommend the least possible for the most impact), must look like your brand.

Logo, slogan, colors, banners…..all the same.

Same with printed products.


Build your author brand with the Writer Nation checklist here.

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