Are you a writer or an author? Anybody can write, but authors are professionals. Self-published authors need to seriously consider their long-term goals. Are you writing just one book, or do you want to be a part-time or full-time author? Planning your author branding strategy will be imperative. But how is that done? Here are five steps every author should take to start creating their brand:
- Understand. The first thing to do is to understand your long-term goal of building your brand and yourself as an author. You are not writing one book, but building your reputation as an author. This can lead to other avenues such as paid speaking engagements. Realize this and plan for the big picture.
- Website. A website is mostly likely your first interaction with your readers. Create a clean website that is not full of ads or free. If readers perceive that you do not put value in what you say, chances are they will not value what you have to say. Put some thought into your areas of expertise and create a website that highlights your strengths. Target the audience that you want to reach with valuable and original content. One of the most overlooked items is making sure you follow up with and make sure your message was received the way you intended it.
- Communicate. Start a blog and post regularly on your website. Share your knowledge with others and do not just write to sell. Advertisements are everywhere and the real key is to add value. The true value of effective communication is helping readers learn, which will solidify you as an expert. Seek to create and cultivate a fan base and publish a regular newsletter. Consider obtaining a personalized e-mail address such as firstname.lastname@example.org. Another excellent way to communicate with your readers is to work with a public relations team.
- Professionalism. As you build your brand, do it in such a manner that is professional. As you grow and have more success as an author your name alone will sell books. Take the writing and marketing of your book seriously. This can include creating a well-designed business card as well as other stationery. Authors have even created logos to help with their branding.
- Entrepreneur. You are an entrepreneur. You are building your business. You are the foundation and success ultimately rides on your shoulders. One way to start out is to get involved with groups and associations within your area of expertise. Reinvest your book earnings to give your readers top quality books with an amazing cover and quality content. Furthermore, this is not something that happens overnight. Business plans take constant planning.
It is challenging to become a successful author. We see too often that talented authors give up too quickly when everything does not fall into place right away. Remember that rejection is part of the refining process.