Twelve Points about Creating your Brand

1: The brand is not the book. It is a guarantee of quality. E.g: Beanz mean Heinz.

2: It is also your identity. Your Voice. It is You.

3: Don’t expect the publisher to create the brand for you. You need to grow your own and take charge of your own career.

4: Know your reader and identify your target audience. Readers don’t always know why they like your books, but you have to know. Develop a bond with the warmth of your story-telling. A brand works at a subliminal level. If a reader does say what she likes about a book - listen. Once readers are attached they will feel they know you.

5: Know your own work. Have you created the appeal necessary for your particular genre? In what way are you different? What is your particular slant or plus factor? What is the theme or common ground that links all your books? Write a catch-phrase to describe your books. Use this on the banner of your website.

6: Book jackets, newsletters and websites need to be consistent with the brand.

7. Plan a strategy. Plan your career for at least a year ahead. Be prepared to invest in your business. It is tax deductible, and it is your insurance. Your means of survival.

8:Work with your team: - editor, PR person and agent. Discuss strategy and include their ideas in your plan.

9: Start with the local press and radio. Look for an interesting hook. Remember the media is interested in you, not simply your book. If you’ve interviewed local people when researching the book, get them involved. Have a story or anecdote to tell.
Do talks for W I/women’s groups/churches/writer’s groups and conferences etc. Always make your talk entertaining, and do it without notes if you can.
Bookshop signings or courtesy calls to sign stock.
Giveaways; Contests; Newsletters; Blog tours.
Social networking - engage with readers, not just buy my book.
Update your website regularly.
Bookmarks, postcards or flyers.
Advertise in Romance, local or County magazines. These cost less and hang around a long time in dentist’s waiting rooms.
Get another author to give you a quote for the jacket.
Do reviews.
Write short stories and articles.
Constantly be on the look out for fresh ideas to promote.

10: Evaluate your brand afresh from time to time, and if it’s looking a little outdated, or sales are sluggish, or you’ve started a new series or line, then give it facelift or total overhaul.

11: Protect it. Once you have established your brand, don’t mess with it. Do not tarnish your professional image or spoil the reader’s perception. Give them the best you have every time.

12: Last but not least - enjoy what you do. Have faith in yourself, and have fun.

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