I recently attended a branding seminar for authors and wanted to share best practices with the WordServe Community. Here are 4 Sizzling Secrets to Branding You and Your Book from speaker Liz Goodgold, Branding Expert for www.RedFireBranding.com:
1. WIIFM: What’s in if for me?
Your audience wants to know what they are going to get out of buying and reading your book. Sell a benefit or a result – think in terms of a call to action. Will your reader learn a skill, come away with increased knowledge, or be entertained? Knowing your endgame is a huge part of selling the benefits and the results.
2. Consistency is Key
Brands have to be consistent. In-N-Out Burgers always taste the same, and they have since the forties. That is consistency at its finest. Your audience is looking for that kind of consistency. Once you have established your brand it’s important to stay with it. Think in terms of household names like Chicken Soup for the Soul, or the ‘Dummies’ do-it-yourself guides or perhaps the Mars and Venus books. For writers who tackle random subjects without a real sense of continuum, Liz recommended that the books should still appear consistent with regards to style, size, type, and font. Branding by color is a popular way to go.
3. Book Title – Easy Recall
A well-branded book title is catchy and simple to recall; it also carries over easily from one book to the next. In hindsight, my book, Gumbeaux, was probably not the perfect title as it can be considered difficult to pronounce. However, I have the opportunity, based upon Liz’s learnings, to title my next book: “Rancheaux” or something with a similar suffix. The suffix could work as well for me as “itos” does for Doritos, Cheetos, Tostitos, etc.
4.You Are the Brand
You are not building a book, but an empire. Don’t create a website that is only useful to promote a single book unless you are positive you’ll never write another one. It should be fluid enough to support your blog, sales channels, books to come, a potential series, etc. Check out the websites of your favorite authors and notice how they position themselves not just as writers, but as brands. Use jargon that resonates with your writing platform. You are the brand – not your book – so think big.
How are you building your brand?
10 Replies to “Building the Perfect Brand”
All of my books–no mater what the noticeable subject–will have a subtle message about the importance of the friendship of women.
That’s exactly the idea of brand building and creating continuity. Thank you, Sharon!
Kimberly, thanks for the tips. I have completed an inspirational contemporary novel but feel led to write inspirational historical fiction. My theme is that the location will always be England. Is that enough to identify my brand and create continuity? Or am I not fully grasping the concept of ‘branding?’ Thanks!
Hello Carole, thank you so much for your response. You are on the right track. Branding, in a nutshell, is “the process involved in creating a unique name and image for a product in the consumers’ mind, mainly through advertising campaigns with a consistent theme. Branding aims to establish a significant and differentiated presence in the market that attracts and retains loyal customers.” http://www.businessdictionary.com/definition/branding.html#ixzz2C22HWNJY
The concept of branding is seen in everyday life. Here are some examples:
-When you need information, you ‘Google’ it (as opposed to looking it up – whether you are using Google as the search engine or not).
-You request a Kleenex as opposed to a tissue.
-You make a Xerox, instead of a copy (whether the machine is made by Xerox or not).
-An object is described as ‘Tiffany’ blue, ‘UPS’ brown or ‘Coca-Cola’ red.
Can anyone else provide some examples of branding in effect?
Thanks, that helps a lot. I wasn’t sure if I was on the right track or not, but it seems I may be!
Thanks for an excellent recap, Kimberly. Look forward to reading more of your posts.
Thanks Liz! I’m honored that you read this. Thank you so much for all of your advice, I can’t wait until your next seminar.
Even before I began to write my first mystery novel, I decided I wanted to make it a series, so I came up with my series title first – Birder Murders. And am I glad I did! Not only does the rhyming title stick with readers (and make all the books easily recognizable as belonging to the series), but it also conveys humor, a key element in the books. Branding has become a no-brainer for me – not to say I have no brain when it comes to marketing, but I barely have to give it a thought with each new book in the series, thanks to the work and thought I put into it before Square One!
Hi Jan, yours is a perfect example of the application of branding. The readers you have already won over will welcome your Birder books as they come available.
The James Bond series has now reached the fifty year mark, and readers around the world can identify that brand franchise with only three numbers: 007.
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