These days, online profiles are essential to the marketing process. Most books have profiles in their insets, but building your brand goes beyond the cover.
Back in my very first blog, I covered the reasons I’d decided to go with a nom de plume rather than my own name. I didn’t feel like it was fitting for an author, but I still wanted to have something less conventional and more original. If you put Livian Grey into a Google Search, my covers pop up in the images page, and I’m on all the main searches for the first few pages. Sorry, but when you’re an author, you do have to Google yourself now and then. It’s how you effectively build your author brand.
I’d already built a profile for my self-published books, but when I joined Kellan Publishing, I had to put a little more effort into selling myself. I needed a new profile picture, and I had to get back into the thick of social media. I had been running a book page on Facebook already, so setting up my new author page was a breeze. Building a brand is so much easier to do with a Facebook page rather than using a standard profile. Banners and cards are also important. It’s best to come up with your own material, and I’d been making these for a while, so again, making a quick and simple logo and banner was a doddle. Using sites like WordPress and Wixit are great for building quick and easy websites that look professional, but you will have to pay for a specific domain name. I did put some money into things like business cards, but I didn’t feel they were entirely beneficial. Author brandingdoesn’t have to be bland, if you’re willing to put in some money and time, you can come up with very effective (and cost-effective) marketing items.
If you are new to authorship and have a title on Goodreads, make claim to your Author Dashboard as quickly as you can to make sure your details are up to date. Once you’re acknowledged as a Goodreads Author, you can take advantage of their advertising programs. You can also keep track of who is adding your books to their “to read” shelf. This might not seem significant until you realise a reader or reviewer with a substantial amount of followers and friends will automatically broadcast this update through weekly digests and reader feeds. This can lead to a lot of exposure which costs you absolutely nothing. Goodreads has been responsible for some major success stories in publishing, so it’s best you get a handle on this early when building your brand. You can also run a blog for your readers and stage giveaways, however this program is no longer free, so check the terms and conditions.
While I was waiting for Live to Tell to become a reality, I decided I wanted to work on a novel, and I managed to bash out a very rough draft in about 13 days. This draft has since travelled with me to the UK and Amsterdam, and been through the process of formal editing. In January 2018, Into the Other was released, and has since garnered some favourable reviews, which are integral to your brand. I feel like both books were a success for me, as they’d signified the accomplishment of my long-term goal of being traditionally published.
I know many people feel it’s not about how you’re published but how well you do once your work is out there; however, it was important to me to have my work officially recognised by a publisher. While I was at university, we never really discussed self-publishing, our goal was primarily to be picked up by a publisher and to help represent the Western Australian writers’ scene on the world stage. At that point, in the early 2000s, ebooks and online publishing houses weren’t even a reality. There was talk of a lot of forms of media going online, and that newspapers and print books would eventually be a thing of the past, but we were still a long way off seeing how this would actually play out. And there’s definitely still a market for print books. Now more than ever, building your unique author profile is one of the most vital parts of marketing.
~ Livian Grey
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