These words follow the book title on the website of a current Mark Graham Communications client. The client’s website also includes inspirational photos, a book trailer, author information, and an inquiry form.
So what doesn’t exist? The book.
Not yet, anyway. But that hasn’t stopped our client from generating excitement about his upcoming release.
What he’s doing is establishing his author brand. What is a brand? In traditional marketing terms, “branding” refers to the visual aspects of a company or product: its logo and symbols, its packaging, and its general graphical aesthetic. These elements are still considered part of branding, but with the ever-evolving online world enabling companies and individuals to reach wider audiences, the definition of branding has likewise expanded.
According to Brandingmag.com, branding is “…the perpetual process of identifying, creating, and managing the cumulative assets and actions that shape the perception of a brand in stakeholders’ minds.” For authors and aspiring authors (whether they’re planning to write their own book or have it ghostwritten), this means establishing the reasons why readers should turn to this book specifically.
Amazon carries over thirty-three million book titles. Brick-and-mortar bookstores have access to nearly as many. (Some books are published only online and are unavailable in physical stores.) For a book to stand out, potential readers must have a clear idea why they should invest their time and money in it. There’s no better way to achieve that than to ensure your author brand is well-defined, succinct, and consistent.
What are the elements of a great author brand?
- Brevity. Some authors bog down their brands with too many details. Such authors want their book to be everything to everyone—but this overwhelms readers and is likely to cause them to seek other resources and/or forms of entertainment. To avoid this, begin by defining the key points you want your audience to know. What, exactly, are you offering? What value will your book bring to readers’ lives? Instead of starting with the idea that “Everyone will want to read it!” begin by assuming that only those to whom you provide great value will read your book. (Harsh, we know—but true. Rather than deterring you, let that inspire you!)
- Your (or your company’s) experience and personality. What makes you stand out from the crowd? What wisdom does your book contain that readers won’t find elsewhere? What aspects of your personal story, your book’s story, or your business make you an expert and/or someone who holds a unique view about the book’s topic?
- Professional, consistent messaging. Regardless of whether your book is personal or business-related, everywhere you display or discuss your brand, the message should be the same. Reiterate your message each time you talk about your book, your company, and/or yourself. Use a consistent graphical style, streamlined visuals, and other elements such as music and sound, as appropriate to your brand.
What if you have a great idea for a book, but you haven’t yet written the book? Like our client, you can begin defining your brand at any time. And, like our client, you may find that having the book ghostwritten is optimal for getting your book into the world in a timely manner. If you’d like to learn more, please get in touch. We’d love to get to know you, your idea, and your brand—and we’d love to help you get your book into as many hands as possible.