Branding. What is it? How do we do it?
We read the term all the time; we even get the advice and much much explanation from blogs like Kristen Lamb’s. Her book, We Are Not Alone goes into much detail about branding and marketing as an author. There are other blogs and sites that discuss branding at length. And there are a ton of books too. John Locke’s book (yes, I succumbed to the hype and bought it) details his journey on branding and suggests to authors how they can use his method to build an audience.
All great advice.
But really. How do you actually DO it?
I’m not sure how you can, but I can tell you how I’m going about it. It’s my own style of soft sell marketing mixed with information from both Kristen Lamb’s and Johne Locke’s books. It’s all good information, but I needed to find a way to make my brand in a way that suited me and that I could manage.
And I hope perhaps with a little explanation of what I’m doing, you might find a comfort zone with this whole concept for yourself.
At first, I struggled with the notion of my brand. I did the keywords thing like Kristen suggested. (Want to know more, just snap up her book, it’s a great read and very helpful) The trouble was, I had a hard time describing myself with tags and keywords. If you check my Amazon tags, you’ll see just how much I struggle. For a writer, I’m woefully inept at summarizing, but I digress.
After many frustrating weeks of trying to find my own comfort zone with tags and keywords and branding and trying to be helpful to others, (which I do anyways) I picked up John Locke’s book How I Sold a Million Ebooks. I read it. I tried his method–or at least I gave it the old Thea shot, which means I did as much as I was comfortable with. I don’t have a newsletter and tons of fans to help spread my word, nor do I feel comfortable asking people to do it for me. But I did discover I was already doing some of the things he suggested.
I mixed the two self-help books into one Thea concept to find out what the Thea brand is. The information from both of these as well as a few weeks of reflection told me I was already doing what I should to build my brand. I just needed to fine tune and focus.
You see, I write character driven fiction (a keyword combination that I found thanks to Kristen’s book). This means that what drives my own writing motor is the same things that drive my characters. I want to know how they will act/react/ and grow/evolve from a plot. So I started thinking:
What are all those events in my life’s journey that propel(led) me to the page in the first place? My brother’s addiction, the suicide of a friend, the heart attack my mom suffered, the death of my favorite pet. All those things and more send me to the written page and infect the things I write there.
That’s what drives me.
And I bet those things will interest a reader who is interested in character driven fiction. And so if I blog about those, my target audience will appreciate it.
Will those posts interest a pulp fiction, vampire loving, shapeshifting time traveller reader?
And that’s ok, because a pulp fiction, vampire loving, shapeshifting time traveller reader probably won’t like my books anyway (unless they happen to love those genres but also REALLY care about how the characters will evolve/grow etc. THEN they just might like my stuff)
So I blog about those things and I ask people to read them and share if they like it. Recently, I’ve been asking folks who share my posts through Twitter to add a hashtag of #theagimmesome and then each Monday, I draw a name at random and email that person a coupon for a free ebook from Smashwords.
All little things that build the Thea Atkinson brand, the brand of a writer who enjoys the journey and struggles of life whether fictional or real life and blends them.
That’s my brand.
If you liked this post, please do share. If you tweet it with the hashtag #theagimmesome I will enter you into a weekly random draw to win a Thea ebook.
Plus grab a free short story: God in the Machine from Smashwords just for visiting.