How to Focus on Your Brand as a Writer

04/13/2017 01:58 pm ET
Vetta/Getty Images
Vetta/Getty Images

What are some writing tips for young aspiring authors? originally appeared on Quora - the place to gain and share knowledge, empowering people to learn from others and better understand the world.

Answer by Steena Holmes, NYT & USA Today Bestselling Author of Saving Abby and 27 other titles, on Quora.

Author branding is essentially a promise made to readers. It’s not just in the stories you tell. It’s in everything you do and say when you are interacting with your readers – whether it’s through your website, your newsletter, your social media or prizes you hand out during contests and book giveaways.

Your brand is about more than just the book you are writing.

You brand is about you.

You want your name to be recognizable to readers. You want readers to see your logo, your name and instantly recognize who you are to them.

If you are just starting out, there are a few simple things you can start doing now to build your brand.

Think about what you write and who your readers are. If you are a inspirational author (for instance), then there is a specific audience you want to attract.

  • Your website is not going to be full of half naked images.
  • The posts you share on Facebook or Twitter are not going to be full of swear words.

You’ll want to share a message of hope and love to your readers, they’ll want to hear it in your tone of voice, see it in the posts you share, read it in your stories. Your brand is a promise you make to your readers.

When I think about my brand and the promise I make to my readers – I work very hard to stay consistent. I write issue driven stories that hit my readers hearts. I take the fears I harbor as a mother and I expose them in a heartfelt way that doesn’t scar. There is always a hopeful tone to my books regardless of what transpires within the story. I carry that throughout everything I do when I interact with my readers. I keep things personable. Hopeful. Relatable. I don’t try to sell my book, I focus on my readers instead.

Are you struggling with finding your brand as an author?

Think about three words readers would use to describe your writing and use those as your focus.

  • Use images that correspond to those words. If it’s hopeful, then don’t use images that focus on death and blood. If it’s comedic then don’t focus on inspirational sayings or share images of a sunset unless there’s something funny happening in that image.
  • Use those words as inspiration when thinking about what to post on social media.

If you’re still struggling, then think about who your reader is. Not readers… just pick one.

That one person that you are writing your story for.

Who are they? What do they do for a living? What do they read? How would you go about getting to know them – if you even want to get to know them. Use that as your inspiration for building your brand.

Author branding is more than just your social media imprint. It’s more than just the amount of followers you have on Facebook or Twitter or how many images you post on Instagram or how many boards you have on Pinterest.

It’s about your interaction with your readers, a consistent interaction that has your readers wanting to read more of your books.

It’s about your readers knowing they can trust you to keep the promise of their experience when they read your stories.

It doesn’t need to be stressful and it can even be fun.

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