Many writers get terrified at the thought of establishing a brand. And the pressure isn’t getting any less. Others just plain don’t like it. They simply want to … write.
But a brand is actually not as bad as it seems. In fact, with the right frame of mind, it’s a good thing that a writer could turn into an asset, trade or indie.
What exactly is the right frame of mind, you may ask.
It is the perspective from which you look at it. This is how I look at it:
A brand is ANYTHING that represents you. It speaks for you when you not there to do so yourself. Simply put, your brand is you.
Who are you?
You are a writer. And you have a reason for writing and a passion behind it. And it comes with a style and flavor. Your brand is what tells everyone that your writing is a personality of its own. And the more you appreciate this, the more you worry less that your writing isn’t turning out exactly like your favorite author. And that’s a good thing.
That brings us to the ringing question, how then is it an asset to me?
Come along and we’ll find out.
- Readers Love It! Did you know that your brand could get your readers to come find you? There are people that you’d hear them say, “I love books that are like Lori Wick with an edge.” And then someone goes and recommends, “Oh! There is this writer I discovered. She’s soft in her approach, but very intense in expressing emotions. She’s like Lori Wick and MaryLu Tyndall wrapped in one package.i’m sure you’ll like her. You can find her books here and here.” Voila! A brand has been established and a reader is looking for your books. Readers love to compare and discuss books with some kind of correlation. You hear statements like, “This writer is like Karen Kingsbury and Dee Henderson with a touch of Susan May Warren.” These writers are brands themselves. And in trying to describe yours, they used these writers. It is proposed that recommendations from other readers on online forums amount to about 29% of book sales and 3% from family and friends. That amounts to a total 32% book sale possibility. That is not a figure you want to ignore.
- Publishers Love It! The ultimate goal of every publisher is to sell books. This is fundamentally the reason they turn down proposals. If they are not sure they can sell your book, they turn you down fast. When publishers read your work and can recognize your brand, it helps them decide whether or not to give you a contract. When they are not sure where you belong, they drop you and move on to the next proposal. It is the reason some publishers require that you state who your target audience is, in your proposal. The more specific you are, the better your chances.
- Agents Love It! An agent doesn’t get paid until you get paid. Branding yourself makes it easier for you to not only get the attention of an agent, but makes it easier for him/her to sell your work to a publisher. Some works have been rejected because the agent didn’t exactly ‘get’ the writer. Not every agent will hang around long enough to salvage your work. So make it easier for yourself and your agent.
- Marketers Love It! This is most helpful to an Indie. When you are ready to release, you may decide to get help from professional book marketers/distributors. Your brand is key to helping them accomplish this with success. They know who your target audience is and how to get to them.
- Retailers Love It! When browsing for books on Amazon, B&N or any other retailer, you would have come across something like this, “People who bought this, also bought this.” How is this possible? Branding. Your books will have more exposure and will sell faster when retailers can easily place your work. It is estimated that this reason is responsible for about 5% of book sales. Not much, but worth paying attention to.
See, branding is not so bad! It helps further your career if done right. The total possible book sale power that branding can accomplish is about 37%. And that’s only what is mentioned here. There are many other possibilities.
So there, go on and discover your voice and find your brand. It’s absolutely worth your effort.
Have you discovered your brand? What other reasons do you think it is important to have a brand? Do you have any suggestions that have helped you in the past? Click here to comment.