Very few authors consider this author brand aspect as part of their author platform, yet it’s exciting seeing this stuff work first hand with successful authors and our customers. This is not about Twitter or Facebook profiles, this is about branding considerations for your book and ‘yourself’ as an author representing your brand.
More specifically I’m going to touch on the ‘visual identity’ aspect to branding for authors, which applies to your author platform as a whole both offline and online.
Firstly a quick example of killer visual branding, ‘McDonalds’. The big golden ‘M’ is unmistakeable as you catch it at the corner of your eye waiting at the traffic lights, to the flyer in your letter box. Everywhere McDonald’s is, the identifiable colour branding of yellow and red can be found. They have a clown mascott who is yellow and red, cups, t-shirts, TV-advertising images, rulers, stationary and so on. Another example is the infamous ‘Coke’ brand with red and white.
The colouring branding is a hugely powerful message to the subsconsious and this is how brands become ‘memorable’.
“As an author you want yourself and your book to be memorable, right?”
So how does this help with marketing? Well you see there’s a common law in marketing that any one person is moved to take action, such as purchasing a product after having been exposed to it 6 or 7 times. Only then do they consider purchasing, I’ve found myself having done this and no doubt so have you. So to achieve this, you need to be visible in more ways than one, without the expensive outlay of sticking your face on a pencil sharpener.
You can begin by being selective with your colour use in your book cover design. Then have these colours be consistent across your author platform and promotional campaign materials, such as your website, flyers, email signature, posters and banners. Build your author brand recognition through using the same colours, fonts and design elements.
Another aspect is branding yourself through the clothes you wear and the attitude you bring to interviews, events and meeting people. Have your clothes also be part of your colour branding. It steps up the level of professionalism and authority you emit and how you are perceived, which also creates ‘trust‘ which is an important factor in any business when it comes to selling yourself and your product.
“This helps create the perception of a larger established brand and not a single book by some author”
Before you ask, yes this does indeed work for both fiction and non-fiction authors. One of my client’s (who I also collaborate with) fiction author K. C. Webb has had great success with this. His young adult book Dream Raider has a very striking green and black cover and this also extends across posters, banners, badges and the clothes he wears.
He has had book store and event sell outs from new readers discovering him at the event itself, being drawn in by the eye-catching colour branding across his booth, tables, swag and of course himself. I’ve attended his events seeing people approach and mentioning they’ve recognised the ‘green colouring‘ from across the hall, in the newspaper or online. He also wears a t-shirt that has an intriguing green and black symbol on it, which always sparks curiosity, which then leads to book sales.
Another example would be best selling Australian author Kim McCosker of the ‘4 ingredients‘, who wears red, blue and white to speaking engagements, on TV shows, magazines and book signings.
As I say on many occasion, start thinking of your marketing early. Don’t accept just any old cover either! Realise that if you are looking to become a career author and writing in years to come selling not just a hundred books but thousands of books, then be sure to consider this key component to effective marketing and longevity when building your author brand and book promotional platform.
Until the next post, keep up the hustle!