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The "B" Word: What does Branding mean to independent authors?

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#1 Tom Bradley

Tom Bradley

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Posted 29 September 2015 - 06:19 PM

Hello everyone,

I am preparing to draft a blog post on a subject that has been gnawing at me for some time now -- that is, the dreaded "b" word (branding) and what it means to the average independent author.

To that end, I have questions for you all and would appreciate any input you can provide:

(1) From your viewpoint, what constitutes a "brand" as it relates to you as an author?

(2) How does one "brand" themselves? Is it even necessary?

(3) What do you see are the steps involved in developing a "brand" for an individual, as opposed to a mass-market product?

(4) How would you describe your "brand"?

(5) What effect, if any, has "branding" yourself had on sales of your books and also, how others perceive you?

(5) What advice do you have for other authors who are trying to figure out their personal "brand"?

Thank you. I appreciate your comments.


#2 Litgal


    Veteran Queen Bee -- Moderator "Here Be Historicals"

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Posted 29 September 2015 - 08:21 PM

Tom I don't just think these questions apply to Indie authors. All authors need to own and direct their branding.  It is in our interests to do so.  So here are a couple of thoughts just a couple (the first three actually) of your questions from this big-5-publisher gal and I hope you don't mind:

(1) From your viewpoint, what constitutes a "brand" as it relates to you as an author?  A brand first and foremost means knowing your target audience (or audiences as you may have more than one for a single book and you may reach them with slightly tweaked branding)--and I mean knowing them like you know family.  I think brand is much more narrow than genre by the way and also can cross genre lines.  I write historical fiction but that is not my brand--it is both too wide and, in other ways, too narrow.

(2) How does one "brand" themselves? Is it even necessary? More than necessary. Essential. The market is glutted. There are less readers as more people pursue alternate forms of leisure activity. Knowing and making it clear who you speak to--who you create work to satisfy--helps both keep you focused and plan effective promotion and marketing. 

(3) What do you see are the steps involved in developing a "brand" for an individual, as opposed to a mass-market product? I don't think it's all that different. Our books are a product and our brand tells the consumer something specific about those books. If we made cars some of us would still be Volvos and others Teslas right? Crafting a way of speaking about our work, a way of representing it through carefully curated images, that is, imo, all part of brand. It is both tone and content.

Lit. (aka Sophie Perinot)

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