Just understanding what author branding is will not help a writer build an author brand. They also need to know why an author needs to build an Author Brand. All marketing requires an investment of time and some money too. Thus one should have good reasons before one can take the plunge to build an author brand. In this post, we plan to do just that.
Although most well-known authors use author branding as a marketing strategy to build their brand. As author branding helps establish you as the best person to solve your readers’ issues. If you are a writer of novels and a reader is looking for entertainment, they know they can bank on your book to give them the joy they are craving. Just as they do when they buy Anuja Chauhan, or Durjoy Dutta
How to reach those first few readers who’ll pick up your book and give it a chance – through exceptional branding.
Building an author brand is a critical book marketing strategy for the following reasons:
- Authority: The number one benefit of creating an Author Brand is that it establishes the author as an authority in their chosen field. Branding helps you build a name for yourself. If you have written a novel or an academic book. Building an author brand ensures that people associate you with a topic ie novel, or academic etc. For example, people associate Shiv Khera’s books as an authority on management and leadership whereas Robin Sharma is seen as a credible writer of self-help/motivational books.
One can go to a local library and realize that every expert (author) has a genre/ category, or theme tag. Shiv Khera will appear as a leadership expert, Ravinder Singh will be tagged under romance fiction. These authors command great respect and influence and are seen as authority in these areas.
- 2. Competition: Thousands of books are published annually. It stands to reason that there will be enormous competition among authors and books in the marketplace. As a result, many excellent books and authors get swamped by competition. These may not be better books but are written by people that are just better at marketing books. The outcome is that authors who do not build hype around their name do not get a fair chance at earning fame or a return on investment of their time, effort, and money despite having written a great book. The author can easily stand out from the crowd and achieve the attention needed with a strong author brand. In this case, the Author Brand does the marketing e.g. Chitra Divakaruni, Novoneel Chakraborty.
- 3. Credibility: In an age where it is not too difficult to put content, albeit of questionable merit, together and become a published author, it becomes difficult for serious readers to filter through the large number of books published and discover excellent books and authors. A strong author brand will position you as a credible author who will attract readers. Your readers and social media followers also begin to trust you and you become a trusted icon in your field. This also raises the author’s media profile and leads to appearances in media events, e.g. Devdutt Pattanaik, Ravinder Singh, Shashi Tharoor, Prabhu Dayal
- The key benefit for an author becomes apparent when they are ready with their next book. The reader knows what to expect from the author. Hence will be willing to buy your book once it is released.
- 4. Loyalty: Reflected by the frenzy amongst readers, whenever a new book was released, from the Harry Potter series. This frenzy is due to the loyalty enjoyed by the author for her writing. J.K. Rowling’s author brand is so powerful that it has built a tribe of raving fans and followers of her books. A strong author brand creates its fan base and loyal readers. Once an author brand is established, readers will just be waiting for the author’s next book release and will go to any extent to get their hands on the latest book. Watch how both Amish Tripathi and Durojoy Datta continuously build their author brand before and after their book releases.
- 5. Auto-Marketing: Book publishing does not come cheap; whether electronic or print books, they all demand a considerable investment of time, effort and money. Even though authors publish books for many reasons and not necessarily for monetary rewards, getting returns on their investment in terms of cash is always welcome. As the Author Brand becomes more robust, it will require less effort to get their books sold or talked about. The author develops a loyal following, their authority and influence are held in high esteem and the author’s books will start selling, bringing in more royalties. Your brand is helping you sell more books.
Even if you are not deliberately building an author brand, you are still creating an impact on your readers.
So it’s better to intentionally create the identity/branding that reflects the uniqueness you have in mind for yourself. Your brand message must be relatable to your audience and should be compelling.
Although author branding and brand positioning are closely related, author branding is different from book positioning. Book positioning tells someone why your book is the right book for them.
The good news is it has become easier to develop an Author Brand in this day and age, with the rise of online marketing and social media. All that is required is a helping marketing guide and some investment of time in creating content to build and support one’s Author Brand. Not only will an Author Brand be created also many doors beyond books will be opened.