Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Pub Life: Ten Marketing Tips to Build Your Author Brand (Part Two)

My last post was the first part of my series on building your author brand.  If you missed it, you can check it out here. This week I'm going to finish up with ten more tips to help you build your author brand.  Some of these tips are things you want to build early on in your writing career, others will come later as you prepare for your book release.  

1.  Hone your elevator pitch
Prepare a short pitch (usually a sentence) to describe your current work in progress.  Memorize it.  This is important to have available if you attend writing conferences and get asked about your work.  It's also a useful skill to develop early, because the more you say it, the more comfortable you'll become with your delivery.  Once you have a book deal you'll get lots of questions about your book.  The elevator pitch is invaluable!

2.  Buy business cards
You can buy inexpensive business cards on sites like Vistaprint and Zazzle.  These are great to hand to people that show interest in your writing or to give out at chapter meetings or conferences.  At a minimum you want your business card to include your name, genre/category, website, and email.  You may also include your book title (if you have an upcoming release) or any social media links.

3.  Create your author bio
I suggest creating a word document with both a short and long author bio.  This really helps if you ever need to produce your bio quickly.  Having your bio already written also helps maintain consistency across all of your social media platforms.  Your bio may vary slightly (ie your Twitter bio may be shorter due to character restrictions) but you want the overall theme to be recognizable and consistent.  Repetition is key because the more people see your bio, the more they are likely to remember it.  Come up with things that are catchy and distinctive, yet also relate to the books you write.  

4.  Use the same picture on all social media platforms
I'm a big fan of consistency because it helps readers to recognize and remember you.  Use the same picture on all social media platforms.  This way you're easily recognizable and you build a cohesive brand.

5.  Join a group blog or guest blog
If you're like me, and you're interested in blogging but don't have the time to blog weekly, I highly recommend joining a group blog.  The advantages are that you can be part of a blog that offers regular posts to reach their audience yet only requires individual members to blog a couple times a month.  Find a blog that shares some of your interests or get a group together and form your own.  Group blogs are fun because you have the support of other members while still getting to build a blogging platform.  It can also enlarge your potential audience.  Guest blogging is another great opportunity to reach out to a new base.  Many regular bloggers feature writers for guest spots.  This is a fun way to build relationships with other writers and to share your knowledge.

6.  Share your skills
Do you have particular skills that would be useful to other writers? Medical experience that could help writers add authenticity to their stories? Special knowledge of a historical period? Experience in web design? Harness your skills and share them to build your author platform.  Many writing chapters and organizations offer online workshops and are looking for teachers.  This is a great opportunity for you to become an "expert" in a particular topic.  Alternatively, look for opportunities to write articles or blog posts on your area of expertise.  This is a great way to increase your name recognition and to build your reputation.

7.  Attend conferences
I'm a HUGE fan of writing conferences.  I don't get to go to as many as I'd like because a) they're expensive and b) I live in South Korea, but I'm trying to make it to a few big ones each year.  There are larger conferences like RT, RWA, SCWBI National, and BEA, as well as smaller, regional conferences that may be closer to home. Conferences are an excellent opportunity to interact with other writers, learn about craft and the industry, and meet with agents and editors.  Some conferences also provide opportunities to meet readers.  Conferences are a great way to put a personal face to your author brand while also building lasting relationships.

8.  Set up Google Alerts
Set up a Google Alert for your name, the name of your book, and any other topics that you may be interested in. Once you've set up an Alert, you will receive an email with any mention of that topic online.  I write YA and NA so I have Google Alerts set up for "young adult" and "new adult."  This helps me find interesting articles and blog posts that relate to my writing.  It's an easy way to find useful information to share and to see if you're being mentioned online.

9.  Set up a Triberr account
I freely admit that Triberr mystifies me a bit, but I've heard so many positive things about it that I had to include it on my list.  Triberr is an online social media platform that helps you connect with other bloggers that share similar interests.  By increasing your network, you also greatly augment your platform.

10.  Create a Spotify playlist
Music is a huge part of my writing process.  I create playlists for each WIP and listen to them while I write.  You can use Spotify to create a playlist for each of your books.  This is a great opportunity because you can share the playlist with your fans.  This will help them connect with you and your book's essence.  It's also a lot of fun.

Any marketing tips you'd like to share?

Chanel writes New Adult contemporary romance and Young Adult thrillers.  Her New Adult debut, I SEE LONDON…, will be released by Harlequin (HQN) on February 1, 2014, followed by a sequel, LONDON FALLING, later in the year. She is represented by Kevan Lyon of Marsal Lyon Literary Agency.  You can follow her on Twitter and Facebook or on her own website.


  1. Noted and noted. This has been such a helpful series! Thank you for sharing. Cheers!

  2. Especially like the Google Alert tip. I have about five set up now! Business cards is something I still need to do... but I'm quite looking forward to that job. ^^

  3. Business cards still work in this information age. It is still a viable marketing tool. It is a must especially when you join conferences.