Tag Archives: Marketing

Author Branding

IMG_5588[1]A month ago, I shared with my writer’s group the basics of setting up a blog and/or web site. We discussed domain names, and what to add, but today’s post is about author branding.

‘Branding’ is ‘the process involved creating a unique name and image of a product’. That product is your writing, but also the branding is about you. It helps build recognition. Using a color scheme, specific fonts, and personalized graphics help people recognize you.

Should your site reflect your book or you, the author?

The answer is simple; if you are a one-hit wonder, publishing only that one book, then by all means, have a web site or blog about it. If, however, you intend on writing more than one books, articles, and other literature, you need to make your name the brand.

kingCheck out Stephan King’s site, where he has his name in a recognizable font, as a graphic, and an animated banner showing off his current publications. The site itself is his name, but the web site reflects all his current writing. You can find his previous publications, but he’s showing off what he’s doing now.

amytanAmy Tan, author of The Joy Luck Club, has a site that also includes her books but also her TedTalks and TV/Radio events, and even her personal story dealing with Lyme’s disease. The color and graphics are distinctive. Her site focuses on her writing, but also her heritage, her interests, and even her dogs.

butcherJim Butcher, of The Dresden Files , focuses on his book series. Graphics and titles includes the Dresden name, and although he writes other books, the emphasis is on the series that made his name popular. Take note the graphics are about his current novel.

As you can see through this examples, the authors are showing off their name, which is their brand, while promoting their current works.

Consider your future, as to what book or book series are you going to be known for.  What colors and graphics reflect you, as an author, or the book series you will write?

amazonauthorYeah, I know. I don’t do this myself. A Writer’s Journey focuses on writing, and posts stuff that writers might find interesting. (Oddly, not a lot about my personal writing journey.) Its because my name is Sharon Poffinberger. Its not eloquent. Its not easy to spell. I’ve published under that name, but I haven’t decided if that will be the name I publish for future works. Once I decide that, I intend on making some changes.

If you like this post, please share, and leave a comment if you have questions or thoughts you wish to share.

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An Interview of My Short Story (from the past)

myinterviewI’m not sure if I ever mentioned I was interviewed by a fellow writer, Roxanne Crouse. I high recommend you read her short stories on Amazon. She writes in the paranormal genre.

This interview happened after the writer’s group published our short stories, after the anthology we intended to publish went bust. I encouraged members to get out there and publish the short stories, and did so myself. The interview is about the Into the Shade short I published in 2012.

Her blog, SoMuchToWriteSoLittleTime, offers author interviews, book reviews, and her own take on her writing journey. Don’t forget to subscribe to her blog, and read her stuff. Its very good stuff.

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Marketing by Self Publishing Coach

200tools

Marketing is key to those who self-publish, but also for those who go the traditional publishing method with the brick-and-mortar companies. You’re still expected to market yourself.

So here I present an Internet find; 200+ by Self Publishing Coach– a page with 200+ marketing and author tools. But you might need to get a snack or coffee first. The site and all the links and ideas will take time to peruse.

I now keep a file on marketing ideas so I can keep track of what works and what doesn’t. Naturally, consider a length of time to see results. For instance, when using the Amazon KDP Select, I saw 11 sales before I posted an announcement. Sadly, no reviews as of yet.

Here is the DOC file of the Marketing Task Worksheet I use;

Join Kindle Unlimited (free 30 day trial) and read the anthology book for free.

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How I made my blog header

I created my own design for my blog, but I use a template. So I felt it might help my readers if they should want to personalize their own sites.

Your first step is to understand graphic sizes. With some web sites, you have ‘headers’, or banner graphics. There are two ways you can size up theses graphics

1. Right click the mouse over the graphic to get a pop up menu and select ‘save image as…’ . Sometimes, however, this downloads the entire HTML file which is the web page and all the graphics.

2. Go to Google search (or the search of your choice) and type in the blog or web site host. In my case, it was Weebly (for web site) and WordPress (for blogs). Then add ‘header graphic size dimensions’.

For example.

“Weebly header graphic size dimensions”

This searches the web for specifics to the dimension sizes. You often find results will include support or help pages from the host site.

Banner graphics tend to be about 720 px wide. Height varies, and you may find you will need to use the trail-and-error method to finding the correct size.

Once you understand graphic sizes, now you need to design your graphic.

I have Photoshop CS2, but you can also use Sumopaint, Gimp, or Canva will let you design your own graphics.

frootbat31AMake graphics- Consider the elements of branding your site such as texture, color, and of course the graphics you’ll use. If you take note, my banner uses snap shots of actual pages of writing I’ve done. The pencil and computer are separate graphics layered onto a single graphic. I then added the ‘post it’ note.

Where to find graphics? There are plenty of stock graphics, but you often pay money to use, due to copyright. You should look for original graphics by you or someone you know, with permission.

istockphoto.com

Shutterstock.com

IMG_3542Take photos of your writing space, computer, keyboard, pens, pencils, etc. But if you note the photo here, its messy and chaotic. Not a good photo. I’d clean it up first, then add that, or take something more artistic to add.

Alternatively, you can also consider a stream-lined, text based graphic instead.

Once made, upload to your site, but also consider the following;

Matching a graphic for online profiles. On profiles, you can add graphics that use the same color, text/font, graphics as your site, which will further brand your site.

Add the same style to business cards. Again, sparking a ‘brand recognition’ for people.

Do you have tips or suggestions- post in comments. I’d love to hear from you. If you need help, you can also contact me. I can create graphics for a small fee.

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