What Is Your Author & Book Brand?

Posted at 02:03am on 21st November 2014

Have you ever thought, as a reader, about what attracts you to certain books, or particular authors?  What makes you go for one rather than another?  Is it the book cover?  The price of the product?  The publisher’s marketing ploy?  The author’s nationality?

Somehow, I doubt it.  Almost certainly, it will be because of the author’s brand.


So what is a ‘brand’?  In terms of supermarkets and chain-stores, food and clothing, it could be defined as a trademark.  In that case, a logo would portray the company’s or product’s brand.  It tells the customer what to expect: a style, or quality, or taste that makes it stand out from the rest. 


But what if you’re an author, and a new one at that?  In order to attract readers, you’re going to have to develop a style that’s unique to you.  What image do you want to portray to your readers?  How will they know you and the books you write?  What marks you out from the crowd?  What is your brand?

I think I settled on mine long ago, without even realising it.  Having survived fifteen years married to a man whose sexual affairs with other women nearly broke my heart, followed by six years as a single parent when the marriage did come to an end, I knew, instinctively, what I wanted to convey to readers of my first two books.  The first, titled The Tug of Two Loves, was about commitment and forgiveness.  The second, Divorced But Not Defeated, was about failure (mine) and the ultimate victory of perseverance and endurance.


So what was my brand, I hear you ask.  At some point in my life I’d come across a verse which spoke of ‘comforting others with the comfort I’d received’.  My aim, in those early books was not simply to write what, in the trade, is known as a Misery Memoir.  There was nothing self-indulgent – a ‘poor me’ ethos – about my writing.  Neither did I simply want to show that I’d survived.


My goal was to show how I’d survived.  The purpose of those two books, and the one that followed when my daughter began a thirteen year descent into drugs (Where is my Child?)  was to show others what I’d learned along the way.  My objective was to impart to my readers an understanding that in similar circumstances they, too, could survive.


Actually, it was more than that!  What I wanted them to grasp was that they, too, could experience the same comfort, help, support and encouragement that I had known.

That, then, became my brand.  Knowingly and intentionally, it defined every book I have written since.  But that, as you’ll discover in my next blog post, was not the end of the matter.

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