Tuesday, August 19, 2008
Honing your Brand
by Danielle Jackson
At RWA National, in between wining and dining with you lovely ladies, I actually went to a few workshops--many of which were publicity, promotion and marketing focused. There was one constant idea that came up: your BRAND.
Now I'm not talking Cover Girl or Target or even Sourcebooks, Inc. YOU are your BRAND. Think about it this way--what's the one thing that stays the same in your books--even if you write a series? YOUR NAME. This is going to sound funny, but you are selling yourself along with these books. Readers like to know who's writing those books with shiny half naked men on the covers…
You should always think about how to market your brand—YOU! How do you want to represent yourself when your book is being promoted? There are a few things to keep in mind:
1) Brand Development and Placement
o Put your Name in front of the targeted audience
- Whether you write contemporary, paranormal or historical, there’s an audience somewhere that will read your book. Part of my job, and something I encourage EVER author to do is to find a target audience to focus on—once we’ve penetrated that market, we move into broader scopes and out-of-the-box ideas
o It’s important, especially once you have a cover, to keep things consistent with your website and personal promotion materials. This was news to me—mainly because I know you all set up your own sites. Even once this is done, and you do have a cover, you should take a look at what is done and try to keep things similar.
o Now that most of you have covers, or an idea of what your new covers will look like, take a minute to think about how you can apply the look to your site. You still want your personal aesthetic to come through, but you also want a way for your readers to identify YOU with your work—hence using your name as a brand.
3) Have a Road Map and Strategies to Reach your Goal
o This sort of carries over with consistency—and something that all of you have started doing with this blog—you have a schedule of blogging and you all stick to it.
- On your personal blog, you should think about how often you want to blog—once a day? Once a week? Perhaps when you have a book currently on shelves you’ll update daily, but when things taper off, you’ll only blog weekly?
· This type of schedule will keep your readers aware of what to expect from you.
o Updating you website is also a part of this—make sure you update on a regular schedule as well. That way, your readers will know when to look for new reviews, or updates on your web tour schedule, or any other events that come up.
4) Remember your Publicist!!!!!!!!!!!
o This isn’t just a way for me to feel loved, hahaha—I like to know EVERYTHING that’s going on! Between the two of us (or 15+), a lot of scheduling will take place. So even if you set up a tiny guest blog or a q&a on a little blog, let me know about it!
- I pass information on to our Sales Department and they in turn go to their accounts. When they can go back to book buyers that one of you had a blog tour that lasted two months, that’s definitely a selling point.
- I also pass this info on to our Marketing Department that will create sell sheets and add the reviews to various web sources that feature reviews.
· There’s an entire company of people here at Sourcebooks and they all have a part in some way to the publication of your book and beyond!
- And of course, you never know—that review or reader comment might have struck you as scathing or God Awful, but I might find a way to make into a golden PR opportunity!
· You all of done the hardest part so far—getting published and I am proud to be a part of making your writing careers successful. Get out there and shamelessly self-promote!
That’s just the tip of the iceberg for most of this stuff—I think I could devote a blog to each bullet I put up there. RWA National was a great source of information, and as I hope this blog shows, I’ve got a ton of ideas. You know how I say to email me with any questions, thoughts, suggestions, concerns? Please do so! I’ll do my best to be on the blog during the day in case you have questions in the comment section, but… well, you know—I have brands to publicize! Expect the majority of my blogs to be in this vein—along with round ups of the great guest blogs, interviews and of course, those AMAZING reviews that will be coming your way.