How Do You Create a Brand?
What Do You Write?
Becoming a Known Commodity
You have written a novel. You'd published it or found a publisher to do it for you. What next? How do garner sales? How do you get your name known?
Not all writers automatically become Steven King, JK Rowlings, James Patterson, Mary Higgins Clark or a slew of others. It's hard to even get one of the "big" publishing houses to even give your work a read through, much less get a contract.
You need an on-line presence. So, start with what you know. What are you an expert on? I've been around this block a time or two so, I have an idea. When I wrote So You Think You Want to be a Mommy? It was because I've been a single mom. I've also been a teacher. In 1986 when I was student-teaching at an inner city school. They young girls dressed their babies up and brought them to school the last week. Having a baby gave you status. With each baby you had your status was elevated. I was confused because my own daughter was in fourth grade and she was in no way a status symbol, she was my child. I let it go and in 2004 or 2005 I was teaching in eighth grade and one of the last days of school I had a female student tell me she couldn't wait to get to high school, find a boyfriend, and have a baby. Hence the book was born. I am happy to report the young lady in question graduated high school, is in her second year of nursing school, and has no baby. I can however, talk to tweens, teens, and parents on the subject.
My novels are mysteries. That meant having to learn all I could about writing one. In my books you will find there is never a straight line from point A to point B. The idea is to draw my reader in and keep them guessing for as long as I can. I don't dwell on blood and guts. I work on spinning a good tale. I'm even acquiring a following. I can speak about how I write.
I maintain accounts on Twitter, where I post my hubs and my blog. Yes, I have a blog. I write hubs. I have a Facebook account-one that is a love/hate relationship. I connect with others in writing communities on LinkedIn. Sometimes the groups get overwhelming. I also am one of the moderators of a writing group that my publisher hosts. My name is out there.
I am working on developing a new website. I am not a computer expert so I will have to have help with that. You need a website even in you only use a free site at wix.com. There are others. Start your blog. It's free at word press and blogspot.
Think you don't have anything to say.You're wrong. Write about your frustrations with the publishing industry. Write about your success with the industry. Write about conferences and workshops you attend. Write about writing. Every writer has their own way to get the job done. Many use calendars and plot everything out before even starting. Some focus on daily word count. Others, like me are seat of the pants writers. I sit at my computer and start writing. I always have an idea of where I'm going, but I don't always get there the way I thought I would. It seems to be working.
So, in branding yourself...making your name known. Become an on-line presence. Get your book reviewed by people who write. It doesn't have to be the New York Times for your first book. Work up to that. Try Midwest Reivew. Don't pay for reviews. Librarians are good reviewers if they have time. Ask.
Become a speaker. Learn your craft so well that people want to hear what you have to say about it. If you are Jonathon Rand and write for kids, find a school to adopt and work with the kids to write a book. Serialize it in the local paper. It could get syndicated an make you a super star. What are you waiting for?