Author branding creates long-term value. Book marketing creates short-term attention.
The way many authors market their book is by going to social media and posting messages that are varied versions of “buy this book.”
Don’t do that. Yes, it wastes your time, energy and resources. But more importantly, it depletes your brand.
Your brand is much more valuable than that.
Every author has a brand whether you’re consciously aware of it or not. The magnanimity of your brand depends on two factors:
- How many people know about you? (Width of your brand)
- What do they think about you? (Depth of your brand)
The depth determines the strength of your brand. The width determines the amount of money you will make.
If there is only one person who knows about my books and buys it every time I write one, I’m a strong brand for that person. But, I won’t make much money because I will only sell one book every time, no matter who publishes me .
I know building a brand is not an easy thing to do. It takes time. It takes planning and it takes effort. But it also creates sustainability, and it builds loyalty and long-term value.
You need to focus on “how you look” (your website, your headshot, your biography, your book covers, book descriptions, social media, email newsletters, etc.) and “what others feel and remember when they think about you.”
The first half of the twentieth century was an amazing time for mystery writers. How many does a common Joe/Jane out there remember other than Arthur Conan Doyle and Agatha Christie? Would you care to hazard a guess?
The answer is not many. Only reason they remember Doyle and Christie is because they were brands.
Some of the well known brands today are James Patterson, Lee Child, Stephen King, Malcolm Gladwell and Karen Kingsbury. Think their books are a million times better written than yours? I don’t think so. Yet they sell millions of copies more than you do. Their brands are simply wider and deeper than yours.
That is the power of branding.