Wednesday, January 27, 2016

The Business of Writing: The Author Brand with @LoreaSample #MFRWOrg #RLFBlog

Meme (c)2016 by Kim Headlee.
Photo of young woman in Ukraine (c)2014 by natamc
Depositphotos ID 79621474.

There's all kinds of advice online regarding how any entrepreneur can establish a clear branding message, but the best comment about the topic I've read recently was posted by She Owns It blog contributor Lorea Sample:
"Push past the fears of rejection, acceptance, and being misunderstood and flow in your being. Embrace and become resolute in all of your you-ness and your branding and messaging will flow. Like they say, “Your Vibe Attracts Your Tribe”. Have a clear and consistent vibe and your tribe will understand and consistently be attracted to you." (emphasis mine; read the full article here)
This struck a chord with me because fears of rejection, acceptance, and being misunderstood certainly do haunt me as an author, and I have to imagine that I'm not alone in this feeling.

It seems I've been doing a lot of mentoring lately of various author-friends, and an email exchange with one of them inspired today's post about branding. In a nutshell:

Once you have have established your branding,
you need to do all you can to expand it.

The conversation started when I was preparing a book spotlight post to feature one of her books on The Maze. I usually try to check all the author's links, and when I got to the link she'd provided for Google+ (G+), I noticed that she had garnered enough followers to customize her G+ link but hadn't yet done so.

I suggested that she check into it as yet another way to expand her author brand.

Her response (after setting up her new G+ link) was: "How do you use that to expand your brand?"

I'm so glad she asked, because this is a topic that is becoming more and more crucial to authors wanting to claw their way to the surface of the ocean of available books in order for their work to be noticed.

Common wisdom states that it takes at least seven mentions of an advertisement before a customer decides to purchase the product—emphasis mine, because books have become a commodity (thanks so very much for that, Amazon :P) while not being, strictly speaking, a necessity for basic living. So customers require a whole heap more convincing before they'll part with their hard-earned cash.

Anywhere in Social Media Land that you can claim your name (Tumblr, Reddit, etc.) will expand your brand, provided that you are active—and interactive—on those sites. Top notch social media promotion is literally a full-time job, so you have to pick and choose the platforms where you want to be most active if you want to stand a prayer of getting any actual writing done too.

I have chosen the following, in this order:

That said—and thank you for choosing to follow me!—Facebook, G+ and Pinterest are pretty much tied for how much involvement I do on those platforms. I use Facebook far more for keeping up with my kids and face-to-face friends than promotion. My YouTube channel is for my book trailers and the occasional video I create myself, so there's not a lot of regular action there. I do have a Tumblr account, but only because I needed to have one in order to read a review of one of my books that someone had posted there.

Google+ has been handy—and simple—for sharing my blog posts, as well as review posts of my books on other folks' blogs. I do wish that Google/Blogger had an auto-post option to Facebook & Twitter, though. Much of the time I forget. (Or maybe it does have a cross-post setting that you know about and I don't?? Please leave a comment if that's the case!) I love that I can choose to cross-post (or not) Pinterest pins to Twitter and/or Facebook on a pin-by-pin basis; I also have found Pinterest to be invaluable for graphic collaboration with the artists I have hired for one reason or another (development of the graphic novel edition of The Challenge is the Project du Jour for me :).

Thanks to a reminder by author Alethea Kontis at MarsCon where we were both panelists earlier this month, I have now claimed my username at Instagram, Tsu, and other places.

Basically, "expanding your brand" means getting your name out there in as diverse a way possible, because you never know who's going to see what when!


All this month, you are invited to...
— Follow Kim on Twitter
— Follow Kim on Pinterest
— Subscribe to Kim's YouTube channel
— Leave a comment on any page of The Maze, especially if you have done the Twitter, Pinterest, and/or YouTube follow
... and each action this month is good for one chance to win a copy of any of Kim's e-books. Please enter often, and good luck!


  1. Great info!
    Pinned to my Writing Process board on Pinterest!

  2. Replies
    1. Thank you, Mary Anne! And next week I tackle Search Engine Optimization (SEO) for author-bloggers. Try saying =that= three times really fast! :D


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