Brand Your Name, Don't Promote Your Book
By Joanne Troppello
That's a strong statement, I know, but I wanted to capture your attention.
Stephen King, J. K. Rowling, Dean Koontz, Nora Roberts, Michael Crichton, James Patterson, Anne Rice, Mary Higgins Clark...we all know those names or at least a good portion of them. So what's my point? Just that...we know their names; we don't all remember the names of their books.
Your fans are not going to always be able to spout off the titles of all your books, but if they like your work and if you've become popular, they will remember your name. If they know your name, they can easily find you online or in the bookstores. When they find your website, then they can look up your books. When they go to the bookstores, they can find your specific titles.
As an author, hopefully you will continually be writing more books. Your readers may not always know your current works, but they'll keep track of what you're working on and when your new releases come out. So, how do you (and me), as up and coming authors waiting for the day you'll be on the best seller lists, brand your name and market yourselves as authors?
That question being put out there, you still, of course, need to work hard on marketing each of your books, but the way to really become popular is to market your name.
One of the best ways to brand yourself is to have a website. You always need to have an online presence; that includes branding yourself in the social media networks. Another good idea is that you should always try to write articles in your trade, and post them in free online writing networks. Usually, you just need to register and then you can begin posting articles; sometimes certain sites will need to review your articles first. These sites will allow readers to link to your profile, where they can follow a link to your website. Other online article posting sites allow you to list a byline with a direct link to your website.
You must remember that you are your greatest fan and you need to take advantage of that fact and promote yourself wherever you go. Of course, some people may feel this is taking you down to ego-land, but there are ways to promote yourself and your work without seeming to be overbearing. I don't usually like to be in the center of attention, but as my husband mentioned the other day, I'm an author now and I'd better get used to it.
Join writers groups and other writing associations and always attach your byline in everything that you write and have your "elevator speech" prepared and ready to use at all times. So what's an elevator speech? It's a short pitch on something you're trying to market and since you're trying to market yourself, be prepared to tell people that you are an author and when your next book is going to be released. Be ready to hand out a business card or at least be able to give out your website.
Blogging is another way to brand your name. You always want your readers, potential readers and the press to go to your website. You can do this by offering them something. How do you do that? You need to provide good content that is always updated. That's why it's good to have a blog directly on your website or if you have it through another online service, to at least have the blog link prominently displayed on your site. You can even create a newsletter. This will be a bit more time consuming than writing a daily or weekly blog, but it is something that you can think about as you get farther along in your writing career.
Don't forget to keep on promoting your name. You are your biggest fan! Make your marketing count!
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