Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Writing Tip Wednesday--Author Branding

Welcome to Writing Tip Wednesday! I’ll be discussing career topics for the next several months. For writing craft topics, see the Labels list in the left sidebar as you scroll down the page or check out my handbook in e-book or print.

Every person, company, and organization in the business of selling a product or service must choose how she/it wants to be perceived by the public. This is called Branding. It plays an important role in website design, marketing and promotion, and social media.

You can use a tagline to help readers know what genre or sub-genre you write. Use broad taglines for multiple genres with the same/similar heat levels and more specific taglines for a single sub-genre. A sci-fi writer might use “Out of this world romance” to make her genre easily recognizable. “Romance you can sink your teeth into” could work for an author who writes only about vampires. For a more general impression, an erotic romance author who writes both contemporary and historical can try a tagline like “Sexy, sassy, sinful.” Be creative! The tagline can be used on blogs, websites, and promotional swag as well as in signature lines for emails.

Themes can also help portray an author’s brand. Dark, exotic colors and designs often imply paranormal branding, while flowers and pastel colors usually suggest contemporary romance or women’s fiction. An author who writes stories set in the Rockies might use mountain-themed artwork for her website or blog header or background. The theme can follow through to her Facebook cover and Twitter background.

Branding should be consistent on all social media outlets.

For marketing and promotion, use your tagline and theme to create items for giveaways and as part of booksigning decorations and advertisements. An author whose books include crocheting might offer a gift basket with a copy of her book plus a couple skeins of yarn, a crochet hook, and the pattern for crocheted potholders for a raffle, drawing, or contest prize. Examples of her handiwork, some yarn, and several crochet hooks could be displayed on the table at a booksigning. She can use crochet-related photographs or stock art in trade magazine and online advertisements with her book covers.

When your public persona has a brand, readers should be able to identify the genre of your books and find a common interest with you. Ideally, that common interest will attract those readers and encourage them to buy your books. As with covers, an author’s brand has only a few seconds to capture and hold interest and turn a notice into a purchase.

Mellanie Szereto
Romance...With A Kick!