Novelists are learning to be marketers. We Twitter, and blog, and send out e-newsletters. But branding is a little elusive. It goes hand in hand with platform, a concept that’s also a little squishy for novelists. Still, the branding basics can be tweaked and put to use for book promotion. Here are the fundamentals, which I made note of long ago.
- Have enough passion about your brand/product that you appear alarming. (This one’s easy for me.)
- Know more about your topic/product/genre than 98% of the population. (I interview experts and do research for every novel. I also read everything I can about the publishing industry and crime fiction, in particular.)
- Choose an attribute somewhere between extraordinary and outright offensive. Stand out! (I’ve latched on to the words provocative and mystery/suspense to describe my stories. I could do more of this though.)
- Treat your brand as if it were normal, not just a publicity stunt. (Yep. It’s who I am. Everywhere I post, I’m always L.J. Sellers. )
- Work yourself silly at branding for nine months to three years. Don’t quit during a lull. Only the tenacious survive. (I’m coming up on three years of 70-hour weeks and I see it paying off. Finally!)
- Sell something while you’re establishing your brand. Even if you think it’s not working, stick with it and keep selling. (I’ve been selling all along and recently added three books to my portfolio.)
Writers: Do you use branding tactics in your promotional approach?
Readers: Do your favorite authors have clear brands (or characters or themes?) Is that what attracts you?