April 29, 2017

Author Promotion — Personal Branding

The hardest problem to fix when authors contact me is the lack of an author platform.Personal Branding for Authors

If you are just getting started on one, then read this blog through and proceed to basic set up: How to use your author name consistently across all social media.

After you have set up your accounts, you will want to work with Twitter on three author platform keys. They are:

  • Grow your network, keeping a balance between followers and people you are following; do this by searching for key-term hash tags and following persons who are tweeting using these terms
  • Respond to messengers more than messages; when possible thank persons for following you or re-tweeting your posts
  • Shower your list with love – discounts or extras, such as tips or observations or links to free/interesting items

Then turn to Facebook.com to do three book promotion things. They are:

  • Set up your book as an entertainment page
  • Include photos or video clips of promotional events
  • Provide discounts or extras to your fans

Now you need a website and, unless you have a family member or a neighbor who does them, I recommend EverPub.com as a sensible, doable solution. Post your book cover and description, update your publicity events, and make this the information center for your publishing career. (I get a small affiliate fee–and you get a discount–if you enter code STA910.) Spread over 27 months, this website costs you about $10 per month. Custom-built websites with a shopping cart can cost you up to ten times as much.

More containers still need to be built, but it’s time to begin filling the ones you have already created.

Olin Hyde has posted a helpful blog, “Personal Branding in 3 Easy Steps” that I want to tailor his comments for book authors.

As Hyde writes, “personal branding empowers us with influence, authority and trust.  Branding our name online illuminates our path out of search engine obscurity into the fame of subject matter expertise.”

Your first book will help shape your personal identity. If this book is fiction for young adults, then you will be known at first as a YA author. In contrast, if your first book is a how-to for improving the romantic lives of readers, then you will be known at first as a romantic expert.

How do you know if you have a great personal brand? Hyde offers five tests or factors:

  1. Is it focused? View your brand like a keyword. Use one concept so you are more memorable and authoritative.
  2. Is it authentic? Great personal brands withstand scrutiny – especially as your influence grows. Be truthful and your status will grow.
  3. Is it passionate? Your greatest asset is your infectious passion for a specific subject. It attracts an audience while keeping you motivated to learn more.
  4. Is it easy for you? Your personal brand should come naturally, without effort, so you can do it all the time.
  5. Is it liberating? A strong online personal brand will liberate you because it enables you to focus on what you are all about.

So, you can write your public identity in a short phrase. How does it fare with the factors? Play with it until it fits. That’s the identity you will want to strength through your Twitter tweets, Facebook posts, website posts and blog (coming soon) assuming that you continue your work within that phrase.

What if you are moving from, say, inspirational fiction to urban Christian fiction? Or, from a how-to book on writing book proposals to building promotional websites? Your personal brand needs to encompass both.

What if you do not at this moment foresee the transitions in your writing and publishing career? Then you will need to craft a story that makes sense of your journey to your fans.

Your brand should form a lens for tweets, wall posts on Facebook, and descriptions on your website. Whatever the news, your job is to bridge or connect it to your brand.

Want more details on “Launch Your Fiction Literary Career in 5 Steps?”
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