As an author, our name is literally our brand. Just like every major brand that you hear about has a clear identity (ex. Geico’s brand identity is savings, not service, not quality, not any other attribute, they are about savings.) when you are positioning your books or promoting yourself as an author for speaking opportunities or podcasts interviews, you need a clear brand identity. Here are some questions that you should be able to answer regarding your brand:
1. What is your identity as an author? Are you a stoic author who is so focused on their craft that they cannot give any attention to the media? Are you the social author who is constantly interacting with fans and readers on social media? Are you the whimsical writer who lives in their constructed world? Are you the author who wrote a 20 book series in one year? Are you the author who is the next Margaret Atwood?
2. Who are you? What’s your story. You give your characters a story, but what is your story? Are you an outspoken book nerd who is into all the things in the bookish world. Are you a reluctant writer who spent years crafting a story and not telling anyone? Did you discover writing early or late in your life?
3. Find your identity and stick to it. Know who you are and what you want. Or else it is easy to get distracted on a down week of sales and decide to jump into factory fiction to just keep money coming in or to chase down some other “hot item all authors have to do” and get distracted. Stick to your identity. If you have a burning desire to write a totally new genre that you think will confuse your brand, then develop a pen – name. But remember that is more than just a name, it is another brand.
For example, I know what my long terms goals are. And I see how I could make a lot more money if I churned out books and did 100% KDP select, and just pumped more into the system and had a new release every month. But that doesn’t line up with my goal of being a prolific author whose literature will stand the test of time. So when I’ve had a frustrating day and think, “ugh if I could just make this much more I could do this full time” it keeps my perspective in line so I don’t deviate from my long term goals. It’s easy to get distracted in the self-publishing space. Defining who you are, will help.
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