- Who are your readers? Create your 'reader' in your mind as you would create a character in your book.
- What can they expect from your books? Will they get gritty realism? Fanciful imagery? Spiritual themes? Intense action? Witty commentary? This goes beyond the genre and speaks to the tone of your work and your 'brand' as an author.
- Is your book regionally based? Would this translate into readership?
- Do your readers have activities or interests that they engage in such as fitness, cooking, wine tasting, quilting, racing, under-water basket weaving? You get the drift...specific activities equate to special interest groups you may target with your brand and marketing efforts.
- What would make someone want to read your book? To be intellectually stimulated? To be entertained? To be enlightened? To escape?
- Where will you find your readers, what do they look like and what attracts them to YOUR books?
This will get you started thinking about who YOU want to be as an author. Another good way to understand author brand is to visit the website of some of your favorite authors. What is the look, feel, and tone of their websites? What is the voice they use on social media sites? If you (or they) had to sum up their books into a 30 second speech, what would it be? This is more than just genre (he's an action writer; she writes romance). It's about what makes YOU special and recognizable to your readers.
Your personal author brand should be summed up in one statement with a few key ideas about who you are. There are lots of resources online about building your personal brand, so do some searches and find the approach you like best, but the long and the short of it is . . . you have a few seconds to let your reader (and anyone who is searching for you on Goodreads, NetGalley, Amazon, or Google) know who you are.
How do you make people feel? What benefit will readers get from your books? What's your mantra?
- I'm a crime writer, Native Floridian, and a reptile-lover. People who read my books will be thrilled, entertained, and unwittingly inspired to buy a pair of crocodile boots.
- I'm a college kid with sci-fi dreams writing in coffee shops instead of studying for finals. All my novels have brown rings to prove it.
- I'm a housewife and mother with a passion for passion...and more. I make a mean brownie to go with my sizzling historical romances.
You get the drift...it's up to you how you want to brand yourself, but remember, it's a permanent mark. Make it memorable.