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  • Writer's pictureMonique D. Mensah

What Is an Author Brand and Why You Absolutely Need One

Updated: Dec 9, 2021

Branding is a critical step in your overall success as a self-published author, but it’s perhaps the most overlooked and neglected part of the self-publishing process. That’s probably because many self-published authors don’t understand the mystery of branding, and therefore have no clue about how to build a profitable author brand. So, let’s bring some clarity to the concept so you can start building your author brand.

Think of your author brand as a story that you’re telling to a specific audience. But you’re not just audibly telling the story like you’re gathered around a campfire; there’s a little more to it. Different tangible and intangible elements come together to tell your brand story to this audience, like your persona, the feeling you give, the types of books you write, and your message. It also includes things like colors, logos and fonts, your slogan, and even your physical appearance.

These elements come together to tell your audience what to think about you and what expectations they should have of you as an author. But most importantly, your brand is the one thing that connects you to your audience, so you can start a long-lasting relationship with them that will turn them into loyal fans, repeat buyers, and brand advocates. Once you’ve established your brand, you will invite your specific audience to join the story and become active participants. Even though this is your brand story, you aren’t the star; your target readers are the main characters of this story. From the time they encounter your brand until after they purchase, the reader is on a journey inside your brand story, and it’s up to you to be the narrator, guiding them through each turn, milestone, and attraction until they meet their destination--purchasing your book and knowing, liking, and trusting you enough to stick around for more, and even telling others about you.

Learn more about building an author brand here: 4 Steps to Build a Profitable Author Brand.

A lot of self-published authors struggle to make consistent book sales because they’ve failed to create an author brand and use it to connect to their target readers. Instead they’re leaning heavily on their book, hoping random people, who have no relationship with them and don’t care about their book, will buy it because the author asked them to. So these authors end up stuck in an exhausting cycle of begging readers to buy the book and getting no results.

What they should do instead is focus on marketing their author brand, and instead of begging random people to buy the book, it is much more effective and impactful to connect a specific type of person to their brand with brand elements that attract the readers and keep them engaged like consistent value, relatability, authority, and a clear and compelling offer to solve a problem the readers have or provide an experience the readers seek. The readers will buy the book because they know, like, and trust you and have a connection with your brand. And the best thing about building an author brand is that instead of begging people to buy your book, you’ll have the perfect readers begging to buy your book, and the next one, and the next. Stop selling your book to random people and start marketing your brand to a specific audience. Your book business will thank you.

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