In order for an author to be successful, he or she must have a successful author brand. Your brand is your name. It’s what people connect you with or think about when your name is mentioned. For example, Stephen King = horror, Rick Riordan = young adult myths and legends, JRR Tolkien = epic fantasy, Kelly Armstrong = paranormal romance, and Diana Gabaldon = time travel romance. I could go on, but you get the picture. Each name evokes a genre or a series, and each brand is high concept.
So how do you develop your author brand (name) into a household word that conjures creepy clowns or teen demigods or hobbits or sexy werewolves or time traveling standing stones and kilts? You need to hit your readers in the heart. Create a positive emotional experience so that they’ll become loyal readers and word of mouth heralds for each book you publish.
This strategy is the basis of social media. You connect with others because of what they say, pictures they post, or the experiences they share. Somehow, an emotional cord is struck, and you want to reach out to people and give them your support or a kind word or thank them for making you laugh your ass off for posting a cute dog or kitten video. Emotion connects us all, makes us human. And depending what you share or post, if people like what they read or see or hear, they begin to trust you. If you’re an author who writes books with animals as main characters, you can bet you’ll grab the interest of animal lovers all over the world.
One way to help figure out your ‘brand’ is to create a tagline for yourself, just as you would for a book. I did a lot of soul searching on this and decided that I wanted to conjure feelings of nostalgia with each book I write—give my books that ‘good old days’ spin. Who doesn’t like happy memories of their childhood? So I came up with: Escape to the past and have a blast. Simple and direct. I want my readers to escape from the mundane and be drawn into a familiar world where they’ll have a pleasurable and exciting experience. At least that’s my hope!
When you find out what makes your audience tick, you’ve hit their sweet spot. You give them more of what they want. They need it. They crave it. Write it for them. Make them feel through your words. It’s what authors do. It’s what we crave.
So what about you? When it comes to reading, what hits your heart? What do you crave? Would love to hear your comments! Cheers and thank you for reading my blog!