Crafty Tuesday - Author Branding

I recently had someone ask me about author branding yesterday, and how to gain a readership. Unfortunately, I have no easy answer for this. At least none that doesn't involve hard work and being kind to people.

Getting your name out there is often tedious work, that not many new authors really want to do. It's asking introverted people, who like to live in their own heads, to essentially put myself out on display regularly. Marketing your author brand is an essential part of the whole process and can be really fun if you look at it in a different way.

Creating a backlist
You're writing for a reason, right? You spend how many weeks (And for some of us months) creating something from nothing using words, loved doing it. If this isn't your reason for writing than I suggest reconsidering the whole writing books thing. Writing is not an easy task and as I said a few sentences ago Marketing is in some ways, even harder, at least for some of us it is. So keep going. Don't stop with just one book. Create a backlist. The more books you have available on the market the easier it is for readers to find you. If they find one of your books and like it, then chances are they will read more of your work. They might even tell their reader friends about you. Word of mouth is a wonderful thing.

Make Friends
For me, author branding is less about my books and more about meeting new, interesting people who have the similar interests as me. I love, love, love this part of writing. It's equally as fun as writing for me. After all, al least some of the author branding takes place on social media sites like Facebook, Google+, and Twitter. Personally, I use Facebook most often for the simple fact that it's where all my friends live and I happen to like them.

If author brand is about anything else for you then you are doing it wrong. Creating an author brand isn't about creating some fake persona to sell books. It's about genuinely wanting to get to know people and letting people get to know you. So just be you and see where that takes you.

It sounds easy, right? Well, that's because it is. Being kind to people is easy and will go a long way with people wanting to get to know more about you, that may just include your books.

Here's an example of what I mean about being kind and genuine in all aspects of your life: I consider myself a reader first and used to read books by this one particular author. I became friends with him facebook. He posted a lot about himself. A LOT. As in, he came off as a little full of himself, which was kind of disappointing, but still okay. I read his books. They were really good, well written books so it wasn't enough to deter me. Then, he made a comment about something I disagreed with. Still, people disagree all the time. No big deal. Not everyone is going to agree with me and that's okay because I'm not always right. Then he practically cursed an entire group of people out in a post and that was it for me. It wasn't about being right or wrong, it was the kind of language he used in the post. (I'm a writer. Words are something I pay close attention to.) Opinions are one thing. Being mean in a very public platform such as facebook is quite another. He lost me as a reader in that moment and I even deleted him as a friend from facebook. I don't want to be associated with someone who is going to be mean to people. I don't have the energy to entertain that kind of behavior. That was last year sometime.

It's about writing what you love and getting to know people. That's it. That's all it should be about.


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