Friday, May 28, 2010

Selling Your Brand

We’ve talked here about building your platform as an author. This is especially important if you write nonfiction, but it’s becoming more important for fiction writers.

I came across a blog on building your brand. It’s not for writers specifically, but the information can be applied to writers. A post this month, in particular, is one that you as a writer can relate to. The blog is called Personal Branding Blog and the post I’m talking about is “Why it Takes More than Information to Write a Brand-Building Book.”

Writing a brand-building book would be especially helpful for a nonfiction author, but even for a fiction author, if you want to create a “brand” for yourself, you can write a nonfiction book on that brand and sell it at book signings and speaking engagements - and not only make money, but increase your recognition and exposure. If you’re not sure about this, check out L. Diane Wolfe who writes YA fiction, but has branded herself as Spunk on a Stick and has five books in her Circle of Friends series -- as well as her nonfiction book, “Overcoming Obstacles with Spunk! The Keys to Leadership and Goal-Setting."

If you’re thinking of writing a nonfiction book to build your brand, the article lists 7 characteristics of successful nonfiction books: Empathy, Perspective, Organization, Titles, Blog, Commitment, and Discipline. Click over to the article to read author Roger Parker’s full explanation of each characteristic.

Other than Diane, any of you have nonfiction books you’ve written which are helping you brand yourself?
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19 comments:

  1. Helen, thanks for the post. I read the blog you linked to and it got me thinking about what my brand or "collection" would be since I do write many more personal essays than fiction. Could it have something to do with the blog I'm writing now? Or perhaps growing up in a tightly knit italian american community? "Life After Growing Up Italian." Hmmm... You got the creative blood flowing this morning...thank you!

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  2. Thanks for the information. This is a lot to think about--good thing it's a long weekend!
    Helen, you always have the best posts!

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  3. Holy cow!! Thanks for the mention, Helen.
    I enjoyed writing the fiction, but the non-fiction established me even more as a speaker, garnered more media interviews, and is pretty much my best selling book!
    Which is why I am working on another non-fiction title.

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  4. No, but I'm thinking about it. :) If I could just squeeze a few more hours out of each day I'd love to do a non-fiction writing related book.

    Diane is a fantastic brand-builder!

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  5. Thanks for this interesting post about brand building. Diversification seems to be an important element. I like the 7 characteristics of successful nonfiction books.

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  6. I think you could be a model to follow, Diane.

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  7. Building a brand seems so beneficial in that it really helps identify the author. It gives them an effective label, title, that readers can refer to. Great post.

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  8. Yes, Diane has done it so well. And Elizabeth, I'm keeping my fingers crossed you find the time--your blog posts could be turned into a writing book for sure.
    No, I haven't written a nonfiction book, but have written many articles and essays. I just need to focus more on that aspect of my writing.That's been hard.
    Thanks, Helen.
    karen

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  9. That's a great idea. I write edgy YA and actually became involved in a charity project and nonprofit anthology series that deals with a lot of the issues that are themes in my fiction. I don't feel qualified to write nonfiction about it, but I am highly involved in engaging people who have some of the same problems as those in my books.

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  10. I need to find a field of expertise before jumping into the non-fiction market, but this has given me something to think about.

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  11. I only write fiction, so I have no brand there. But my blog is (mostly) about substitute teaching, so if anyone wants me to write a memoir, I can brand that!

    What a different world writing has become from even ten years ago. Writers used to just worry about writing well. And if they had a book out, promoting it. Now promotion is at a whole new level!

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  12. I guess non-fiction can be anything from biography to theoretical physics? Writing science and fiction are two completely different things. Science writing is all about precision, and documenting stuff in in detail, such that the reader will be able to reproduce and verify your study >:)

    Cold As Heaven

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  13. Great post! Query Tracker Blog had a similiar article this week.

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  14. I agree, Karen. Elizabeth has enough in her blog to put together a book on writing!

    Theresa, I have no idea if there's a how-to or advice book for substitute teaching, but I could see one being done!

    Thanks Stina. I'll link over.

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  15. Great post, Helen, and massive kudos to Diane for getting it so right!

    I write the 24 Hours travel series (under the name Marsha Moore). The publisher owns the concept but we have worked closely together to create the brand from scratch - we even got an endorsement for our first book in the series (London) directly from the Mayor himself (a major coup which really helped us get into London bookstores). It's taken a lot of work but sales of London are now quite steady and we've just released Paris this month.

    I guess what I've learned most is that you have to be consistent with your branding efforts. You can't just do a big push at launch time and then leave it, as tempting as it may be. You have to keep getting out there, finding opportunities and making the most of the ones that come your way.

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  16. Very good advice, Talli. Thanks. Have you thought about doing a travel tips book at some point? Under your own name.

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  17. Helen, I'll have to check out that blog. It seems no matter what we do these days, we really have to market ourselves to be successful.

    Kind of like networking on meth!

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  18. Jenn, you made laugh with the networking on meth. And cry, since it's true.

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  19. This is great advice. The article you linked to is very helpful as well. Thanks so much :)

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