Personal Branding ~ A Must For Authors

Nike, Boca Raton

 

A few of the authors in my American Christian Fiction Writers North East Zone Group have been kicking around topics such as taglines and platform. This made me think of personal branding. In today’s world, is an author a brand? I think, yes!

 

 

Moi 2In the marketplace, it’s human beings who call to us and the heartbeat of social media is human beings. Like it or not, your readers are also your fans.  The author must have a loyal following.

Writers might argue (and so might some readers) that the story is alive. It’s the book that need the following. However, it’s the author who has the real heartbeat. And heartbeat is important. It’s the human factor that attracts in marketing. You can’t just throw a book at someone. You have to engage them.

 

 

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When I interview writers on my blog, I often ask them to send a “personal” photo that’s related to one of the answers in the interview. This would be a photo other than their book cover and their head shot. And I try to ask at least one interview question about their lives in general that would lend itself to providing that photo. Quite often the interview answers come back to me without that personal photo. It’s my contention that authors become much more interesting if they allow readers a peek into their lives. Almost everything in our lives contributes to our writing, so there has to be a myriad of small things we can share with readers that don’t fall into the “too much info” category.

 

Harmful Intent 2Taglines are important. I’ve got two of them.

  • Literature that reads like pulp fiction
  • I like my bad guys really, really bad; and my good guys smarter and better

I think authors need at least one. The tag line should be at the top of their web page and blog. They should mention it frequently in marketing.

 

 

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I often include photos of myself with animals because I love critters and because they’re featured in several of my whodunits.

Writing is personal and the author’s image online should also be personal, without becoming too intimate. Authors shouldn’t cross that too much information line. There’s something amazing about being able to master language and write 80K, 90K or 120K words and have those words come out in the form of an exciting novel. Authors are not no-talent reality show personalities.  So, while in marketing, we want to come across as totally human, we must do that without disclosing the most private parts of our lives to the public.

18 thoughts on “Personal Branding ~ A Must For Authors

  1. Good post, Nike. I’ve been remiss in keeping up with my blog but I try to interact with readers on my Facebook page. I post some stuff about me, my family, our town, etc, just nothing too personal. I agree it’s good for marketing. I know some authors I follow who post personal kind of things and it makes them more real, somehow. And definitely more likable!

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  2. Betty

    Very good article, Nike. We’re the ones with the heartbeat, not the characters in our stories. This really hit home with me.

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    1. Betty, I think if we write it correctly, readers will think the characters practically have heartbeats. However, they know we do, absolutely. I think they’d like to see a bit of the person who creates their fav characters.

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  3. Something I hadn’t thought of before that I need to incorporate. Thanks for sharing this. By the way, who’s that woman blocking the view of that beautiful palomino. . .? Just kidding. Nice photo. 🙂

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  4. I never actually considered the importance of things like a personal photo, but I must say I loved yours!!! You’ve really hit it here. True ‘fans’ want to know more about their authors whose books they love.

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    1. Tracy, I recently noticed mid-level TV actors (not reality show celebs) giving details of their lives on Twitter. They went skiing, or fishing, or spent time with their kids throwing a ball. I took note of this and thought about it.

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  5. gkittleson

    Hi Nike,

    This is pretty interesting to me, an author who hasn’t yet adopted a brand. My heroines always have a steep climb to empowerment…so maybe one brand would be The Steep Climb to Empowerment…? How does one figure this out?

    Looks like you’re on fire, girl! Keep plunging ahead!

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  6. Patty Wysong

    This is so true, Nike, and it seems it’s something that gets overlooked or forgotten so easily.

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  7. I absolutely LOVE interacting with readers. This extrovert thinks it’s one of the best aspects of the biz!
    I enjoyed chatting with you the other day, Nike. It’s true, we’ve got to be personable without getting too personal. There IS a difference. Good post!

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  8. Great info, Nike. I’m still trying to figure all this out. I write historical, both inspirational and mystery. In trying to come up with a tagline that would be relevant for both, I’m thinking of “Gateway to the Past.” Any thoughts anyone?

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    1. Penny, It’s difficult when your writing isn’t confined to one specific genre. Maybe something along the lines of “where inspirationals and cozy mysteries meet.”

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