Branding Distinction for Authors

What distinguishes your book from others? What makes it special? How is it unique?

You don’t just want people in your target audience to see your name and the name of your book repeatedly. You want people in your target audience to associate something with the kinds of books that you write.

Knowing the author’s name or the book’s title provides recognition when they see it. You don’t just want people to buy your book when they recognize it. You want people to search for your book.

If you brand a distinction for your writing, people in your target audience may search for your book when they’re next in the market for a book of that kind. This is better than recognition.

When people in your target audience discover your name or the title of your book while they interact with you, you’re branding your name or your book’s title. It may be more effective to brand a signature that distinguishes your writing. Give your target audience a compelling reason to search for your book.

First, you must identify your target audience. Secondly, you must market your brand effectively – e.g. through discovery or by providing valuable content (whereas self-promotion and being too frequently visible may get you tuned out).

Interact with people in your target audience and let them discover that you’re a writer and what makes your work special. The more you write or say, the less people will remember. You want the emphasis on a concise phrase (just a few words, nowhere near an entire sentence) that brands your specialty and something to go along with it – your name, your book’s title, or the name of a series, especially if it’s very short – so that they can easily find it when they’re ready to search for it.

Here are some examples of how to brand distinction:

  • Your Name, writer of clean romance
  • Series Title, featuring Brooklyn’s modern day Sherlock Holmes
  • Book Title, a dancing guide for people with two left feet
  • Author’s Name, specializing in vampire erotica
  • Workbook Series, math for children with ADHD
  • Name of Book, sick of implausibly perfect characters?

Chris McMullen, self-published author of A Detailed Guide to Self-Publishing with Amazon and Other Online Booksellers (Volume 2, on editing/marketing, is now available)