It’s mighty difficult to build an author brand, if you don’t know what an author brand is made up of. So, here it is.
An author’s brand is made up of three things:
- Frequency of people’s memory about you,
- Feelings that memory arouses
- People’s appetite for your books.
Frequency of people’s memory about you.
Say you write books in Horror Genre. When someone is looking for horror books, how often is your name recommended? Quite often? Once in a while? Or, pretty much never?
Now, let’s compare people’s memory about you to Stephen King. How often do you think his name maybe recommended? I’d say quite often. Why is that? Because a strong brand occupies real estate in people’s brain. People remember it when they hear certain trigger words. Stephen King is a brand. Therefore, his name usually comes to the forefront of people’s brain when the words “horror books” are mentioned. Just like, Apple or Samsung come to mind when the words “smart phones” are mentioned.
Question you need to ask is
- what can you do going forward so that people remember and mention you when discussing books in your genre.
Feelings aroused by people’s memory about you
Actions produce results. But what produces action? Feelings. How we feel about anything determines how much effort we put towards it.
When people think about you, how do they feel? Do they feel elated? Do they feel angry? Or, the worse … they don’t necessarily feel anything.
A brand evokes feelings. It could be positive or negative. But people have strong feelings towards it. Apple fans swear by it, and Samsung fans swear never to buy Apple products. Both are amazing companies, and both evoke strong feelings.
Most people love Stephen King’s books. Many hate them too. Regardless, you’re in one of those two camps. The middle ground (no real feeling whatsoever) is extremely narrow when it comes to amazing brands. As much as I don’t want to bring politics in this, Donald Trump is an amazing example of a brand. People either completely hate him, or they completely love him. The middle ground in this case is practically non-existent. Something to strive for, but with much more positive feelings.
Questions you need to ask are
- Generally speaking, what feeling is evoked by other people’s memory of you?
- What can you do to nudge those feelings towards the positive side?
- And lastly, what can you do to eliminate the middle ground?
People’s appetite for your books
People’s appetite for your books depends on the first two components. Greater the people’s memory about you, and more positive their feelings about you, greater the appetite will be for your books.
It’s also easy to measure this appetite. Simply, look at your sales numbers.
If your sales numbers are not to your liking, questions you need to ask are
- Do enough people continue to remember you?
- Do they continue to think positively about you?
Most likely, you’ll find the cause for low sales here. If not, the book is either not appealing enough, or it isn’t priced right.
Going forward …
Everything you do going forward … whether it’s a library event, a conference, sending a tweet, posting a Facebook message, or sending out an email newsletter … should have an objective tied to it. It should answer “Yes” to one or more of the following questions.
- Will this increase people’s memory about you?
- Will this arouse positive feelings about you?
- Will this increase people’s appetite for your books?
If the answer is “No”, stop it. You’re better off spending your time doing something else that results in a “Yes” answer.