This article is written with a heavy credit to Kristen Lamb who’s “We Are Not Alone, The Writer’s Guide to Social Media” I read during Christmas break. I have rephrased parts of it for you and hope to make you see that having your name as a brand is a good thing and necessary if you want to sell your books. From it I learned that I made a tiny mistake in my blog name and in my twitter name because it’s a conglomeration of my own name not my full name, and it may confuse people. I will explain why in the following article.
Getting published doesn’t mean anything if people don’t hear about you or don’t buy your book. And there are consequences if you don’t sell much. “If you fail to sell out of your print run, you hurt your chances of another book contract.”
In order to do what we love, writing, we must learn to do what we may hate which is sell. (Although it may not be as bad as I think. I think I am going to meeting a lot of cool and interesting people)
In order to maximize sales, we need a new goal – to become a brand. You see, brand equals sales. Brand lets us know what to expect. Like Levis means good denim products. Good working jeans. And Nike means good running shoes. Also think Patterson, Stephen King, and Jane Yolen. You automatically think suspense, horror and children’s books.
See, authors have brands too, and it saves a lot of time if your name is linked solely with your content. If we have good content and people know our name they will trust us without reading every review about our latest book before they buy.
Therefore before you sign up for any social media site, the very first thing you need to do is decide what your brand name is going to be. Remember my post about Pen Names?
It talked about how important our published name was. And the reason is branding.
The reasons are three-fold.
1- The be effective
2- To be able to link all your platforms together
3- To begin building a solid platform
Writers’ looove being creative with their usernames. But if readers only know you by your username it will take research to find out who wrote that book they want to buy. And that may be the very reason they don’t buy it. They don’t want to work to make a simple purchase. You have to make it easy for them.
Avoid making these mistakes:
1- Branding the title of your book
a) Your agent or publisher may change the title
b) You may write other books and will have to do all that branding all over again
2- Branding your content –
You are the brand not what you do.
3- Branding the name of characters.
a) Same reason as branding your title, agent or editor may want revisions and the name may have to be changed. And what about a series? If the first book flops or you want to write something different than we are back to having to start all over again.
4- Branding multiple identities — many authors do more than one thing and if they are known by their name it is simple to put on a different hat, as in writing a different genre or teaching a writer workshop.
So you see how important it is to brand your name. That’s how readers are going to get to know us. Branding our name makes us look more professionally focused. And it will save us time in building our author platform, leaving us more time to do what we love, write. Did you know I have a twitter handle called Cbojahn? Yes, you can find me on twitter and follow me using that twitter handle. It is part of my brand but since I didn’t know what I was doing I made it up from my name. Same thing with my blog title, Clarbojahn, but my published name is Clarike Bowman Jahn. See the conglomeration? Hopefully it won’t be too confusing but I am here to tell you that in building your author platform you “want to go with making your name synonymous with your (entertaining, interesting, informative) content. That’s the goal.”
If you don’t sell enough, you cannot quit your day job.
This post relied heavily on material from Kristen Lamb’s book “We are Not Alone, The Writer’s Guide to Social Media.” Thank you Kristen.
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- How to Do Social Media Right (worddreams.wordpress.com)
- Kristen Lamb: 3 kinds of authors and the social media that fits them (karenwoodward.org)
- What Buck learned from Kristen Lamb (deboeybuck.wordpress.com)