When you self-publish a book, you’re probably the one doing everything for it. Beyond being its author, you’re its publisher and its entire book marketing team. You want people to read your book—what publisher doesn’t?—and so to make that happen, you’ve got to do all you can to get your book into your target audience’s hands. Before you can do that, you need to define who you are and what a reader can expect from you. How? A good place to start is where other creatives begin to promote their work: with solid branding.
Your brand identity is your author or publisher personality. Think about the difference between your personal Facebook page and your author Facebook page. The voice you use on your author page, your profile photo and cover photo choices, and the content you share there are all pieces of your author brand.
You can learn a lot about author branding from IngramSpark’s Free Online Course on Building an Author Platform and by looking at how successful authors brand themselves.
Determine your brand identity by asking yourself the following questions about your work:
- What does it feel like?
- How does it connect with readers?
- Who is it meant for?
A brand is more than just a color scheme and a font. It’s the vocabulary you use, it’s the images you pair with your work, it’s everything you do—and don’t do—to promote your book. Push the answers you have to the questions above as far as you can. Get specific with your answers by putting yourself in a variety of hypothetical scenarios. What will readers say about your book on review sites? How will libraries promote your book? If it became a movie, who would be in it?
Making Your Brand Identity Visual
What’s the most recognizable part of any successful brand? A logo. Think of your logo as your “author cover.” It’s the face of your publishing brand.
Your logo should be the image for your publisher imprint and summarize your brand into one recognizable image. Use this image on your author Facebook page, the spine of your books, and across all your print and digital marketing collateral. Tailor your literary logo to how you’d like your audience to perceive you. Even simple logos require high levels of creativity and planning, so take some time to learn all about what goes into an effective logo. You can even read this free ebook on logo design from 99designs.
Your author brand should be consistent across your books, your author website, your social media platforms, and your interactions with fans online and in-person. All of your individual marketing efforts communicate with your readers, but they should do it in a unified way and develop a tone and imagery that allows readers a sense of familiarity. Make sure your author brand determines what it is your individual book marketing efforts communicate so that they’re hitting all of the right notes to portray you and your books the way you want to be received. Branding is important and allows you to decide how you introduce yourself to the world and what you become known for.