Whether you want to build a base of devoted fans or choose to focus on marketing your self-published debut novel, your author brand is one of your most important tools for attracting new readers. Your brand is what clinches the sale and makes readers want to follow you. But how can you be sure your brand is sending the right message? With over twenty-five years in the publishing biz, Self-Publishing Relief has developed a few guidelines to help you evaluate your author brand to ensure it’s clear to readers exactly who you are and what you write.
In this day and age, most of your interactions with readers are going to be online. When followers or potential readers visit your author website or social media, your online presence is central to how your audience views your brand.
How To Keep Your Author Brand Accurate And Consistent
Limit your platforms. Your gut instinct may tell you to get yourself on as many online platforms as possible to maximize your potential audience, but that’s not always the best idea. More important than a multi-platform social media presence is an active one. Your readers follow you because they want to get regular updates about what you’re doing, where you’re holding readings, and how your latest project is going—so if you go months without posting, they’ll lose interest. If it’s overwhelming to post updates on every one of your platforms at least once a week, you probably have too many platforms. You can limit your social media to the one or two sites you most enjoy. Or, you could try posting to several social media networks at once by using Hootsuite or Buffer.
Monitor your content. An author brand sets expectations for your readers. Are you a fun-loving humor writer, or an enigmatic author of mysteries? Readers will expect you to send a consistent message with your imagery, content, and posts. If you position your author brand to match the genre you write in, readers will know what to expect when they read your work.
You should also be paying attention to the information you’re sharing about yourself. Always keep in mind that whatever you post online could be seen by anyone. A few personal details can help readers relate to you as a person, but too many can put your privacy in danger.
Use consistent imagery and cover art. The old adage says you should never judge a book by its cover, but isn’t that what covers are for? Your cover is the first impression most people will have of your self-published book, so it’s important to consider how it should be designed. Through careful use of color, images, and text, your cover art will support your author brand whenever you post it online. And use the same style of imagery and color palette on your social media and author website—being consistent helps reinforce your brand to your audience.
Update your author bio info. Your author bio is a vital part of your writer website and social media profiles. Make sure the same information is reflected in each version of your personal story, and keep your publishing accolades up to date. You don’t want to be a poet on Twitter, a short story writer on Facebook, and a novelist on your author website—your followers will be confused as to which one is the real you! Presenting a unified message on each platform will make it easier for people to know they’ve found the writer they’re looking for. And as mentioned before, keep yourself and your online visitors safe by limiting your personal details and contact info.
Use cause marketing wisely. The charities you support say a lot about you as a person, and can help fans connect with your author persona and your writing. Cause marketing is an efficient way to donate to your favorite charities and show readers the issues that are important to you. And if you can find a charity that aligns with the themes of your book, more power to you!
Remember, your personal narrative as an author is just as important as the story in your book. If you don’t give your author brand the proper attention, you might inadvertently drive away prospective book buyers. Keeping your author brand consistent across all platforms will help grow your fan base and boost your self-published book sales!
Question: How do you keep your author brand consistent?