Welcome to February’s Writerly Witterings, the monthly blog I write for other writers. This month I’m going to talk about ‘creating your author brand,’ something that often isn’t given as much priority as it deserves.
Many writers think it’s all about the writing and getting that novel, life story, short story collection or poetry collection completed. But even at this creative stage, you should be thinking about your ‘brand’ and your online presence.
This presence is what you portray on your website and blog (get one if you haven’t already – WordPress is quite easy to set up.) It’s your shop window to the rest of the writing community and future readers, as well as showcasing your writing ability to potential agents and publishers.
Your online presence also consists of platforms like Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. If you’re not active on social media then I would suggest that at the very least, you build an author page on Facebook.
Again, prospective publishers and agents would hope to see that you are engaging with a ‘following’ and that you are able to promote yourself and your work. This is very important if you are publishing independently. I am offering a course on independent publishing later in the year - follow this link and scroll down for more information.
Gone are the days when we can hide behind our computer screens, writing, publishing and never interacting with other writers and readers. We are a vital part of what we write and our readers want to meet us. Here’s how we can create an engaging author platform.
- Have a professional head and shoulders author photo taken and use it as your profile picture on all of your platforms and on the back of your book. Here’s mine:
- Have a logo created which you can use in a uniform way. I use the image from my poetry collection on my ‘headers’ and this is supported by the logo I have for my publishing company.
- Be consistent across your platform in terms of background colours, font choices, slogans and other colours.
- You can carry this ‘branding’ into your email signature lines and contact cards (I use Vistaprint for my business cards.) See below:
I hope this has given a few initial thoughts for creating your author brand. If you have any questions or further suggestions to make, please post them into the comments box below. I would love to hear from you.
Author brand is something that’s important for me, yet something I need extra time doing soon. Currently my books are coming out in the name of Maria Frankland, yet my presence as a creative writing teacher is still Maria Stephenson.
I am getting married on Valentine’s Day so it will be a relief to bring everything together under my new name! I’ll post a wedding picture in my next writers ‘keep in touch’ newsletter, out on 20th February so join my list if you haven’t already. I will then be able to send you a few writing related freebies as well as free online mini writing course opportunities.
For those of you who might be interested in reading my work, my novel ‘Don’t Call Me Mum’ is available to download for free from 20-22 February. It's a memoir, but has been described as a page turner, reading more as a novel than a memoir! It chronicles the journey from ADHD to juvenile deliquency and my fight against 'the system.' If you don’t want to wait until then, you can follow this link to grab your copy. You can follow this link if you’d also like to pre-order your copy of my psychological thriller, ‘The Last Cuckoo,’ out on 4th March.
Thanks for listening to my writerly witterings. Next month I’ll be talking about generating writing ideas.
Bye for now,
Ps I still have a couple of places left on my Writing Space days - follow this link for more information
There are also places left on the Life Writing Retreat in Harrogate in April which I am co-hosting with novelist and Life Coach, Ali Standen. Follow this link to find out more