Consumers buy a brand, not a book. This was the message at a seminar I attended last month on branding your image. It made me think about the reasons I buy a book. I usually buy for one of two reasons: either the book has been recommended or I know I like the author. Kind of like when I watch a film, I look to see who’s in it before I even want to know what the film is about. With a good cast of well-known characters, I feel confident I’ll like the film. I guess that’s branding – their image is a brand. Consumers look for consistency: a good actor, a great plot, a familiar style. They identify with your brand, and there are lots of subtle ways to brand your image and your book, as I learned at the seminar:
Bring central characters in your book back in future books. (i.e. Harry Potter). Run a theme through your books (i.e. Stephen King’s horror, or a market niche). Be consistent with the length of your book (always long or always short). Brand your book cover and titles so they become instantly recognizable. For instance, my 3 novels are all set in San Francisco, and I could use the Golden Gate Bridge on the cover as a brand. Use phrases and key words in your book. Your brand is your unique stamp – the thing that makes your work easily identifiable to your followers. Whatever makes you different – use it in your work. Incorporate your individual traits and interesting characteristics. I came away from the seminar with plenty of branding ideas for my own books.