On my journey to promote my books, I took another look at branding. I’ve read about this many times over the past five years and each time, it gave me pause for thought and examination. This time was no different, and I reviewed my websites, my book covers and the few social media platforms I use to promote my books.
My focus was on my McGyver blog and the book covers. Everything else is designed to spread the brand further.
First, what is branding?
Experts who specialize in this will explain it better, but I’ll give it a shot.
The simple explanation is the manner in which you present your products in all formats across all public places.
The long answer is the themes, colours, tones, images, icons, graphics, fonts and messages used in and on your books, your websites, your business cards, your social media platforms, your promotional T-shirts and everything else associated with your products. It often means using the same banner on the top of your website and social media accounts.
Think about it this way. Consider a large, nation-wide store you frequent. The store front has a certain colour and design. The logo of the company name is designed specially for them. In fact, from a great distance at night, with it illuminated, you know what store that is. Inside the store, the carts might have the store name on the handle, the employees are dressed in the colours of the store, and this is carried over onto the bags in which they put your purchases.
Everywhere you look, from their commercials to their flyers arriving at your door, you know without putting on your glasses, which store they belong to.
That’s good branding.
What Branding Does For You
Branding gives you the same advantage your favourite store has: readers know in a flash, without reading the small print, that you wrote these books and this is your website. If they’ve read one of your books, they’ll make a connection to your new books even when the covers are presented in thumbnail size.
Some publishers/authors do this very well.
Others don’t do it well, and readers must search the cover to find the author’s name to see if it is one they’ve read before.
Creating Your Brand
More than likely, you’ve already started creating a brand because what appeals to your eye is already on your blog, your social media accounts and your book covers. If it looks good in one place, we often use it in other places.
Ideally, the brand should span your entire writing business but at the very least, it should be on your books. This doesn’t mean that everything on the cover is the same. It might mean your author name is in the same font and style on each book – this is what I strive for.
Great branding stays with us forever. The style and colours of the Indiana Jones movie title comes to mind. Regardless of what words are written in that style, my thoughts go to Indie.
Good branding captures the reader’s attention from across the room to let them know it’s you.
Poor branding presents missed opportunity because readers might miss your book, thinking it was written by someone else.
And that’s a wrap on branding for today.