Saturday, June 26, 2010

Welcome Guest Blogger Cornelia Amiri

Celtic romance writer Cornelia Amiri joins us today to talk about author branding. What exactly is author branding, you may ask? Cornelia is here to explain all.

Branding is one of the most important marketing tools, but when we think about branding, especially here in Texas, we think about cowboys and cattle, which is fine, that’s one of the best ways to explain its use. Imagine cattle in a field, branding makes your cow stand out from all the other cows, even though they may all look the same.

In order to brand your books you first need to understand what author branding is. It’s a promise you make to the reader based on your unique author voice and the quality of your writing. The reader knows, every time they buy one of your books, you’re going to deliver on this promise. And that is what you need to think of when you come up with your brand. You may write multi genres and even over a span of writing you may alter what you write about, but the essence of that promise will remain the same. So the essence of your writing, the part that won’t change, is what you want to brand.

When you create your brand, go back to the moment you decided to be a writer. What I mean is, you probably wrote as a child, but think of the specific moment when you decided to craft a novel with the intent to submit and get it published. Something pushed you into it. Some specific things happened to drive you at that moment to make that decision with all the sacrifices it entails. If you go back there, within that moment, you will discover a lot about your writer voice and your brand. An author’s brand is as unique to them as an author’s voice

After you create your brand, advertise it. You promote individual books but most of the advertising and emphasis on promotions should not be on individual books but on your brand. Incorporate your brand in all you do, even in your appearance when you’re promoting. Some author’s brands are based on their culture or a culture. That’s not surprising because one’s cultural identity is a strong part of who they are and what motivates them. If culture is part of your brand, incorporate it in your dress and your display at signings and presentations.

A slogan that fits your brand is good. I use “Long Swords Hot Heroes, and Warrior Women.” Put it on your web sites, on your business cards, your letter head, you signature line in your e-mails, in your press releases, put it everywhere.

Create a logo and use it on everything: press releases, business cards letterhead, book marks, and candy wrappers. The logo should represent your unique brand. I’ use a torc. Your logo represents your brand and your readership. As a historical romance author, I write realistic battle scenes and my books are historically accurate, in turn I actually sell to more men than women, so my logo like hers has to be gender neutral, like the torc.

Branding is key to in any marketing plan. Multi million dollar companies who base all their marketing decisions against the bottom line all use branding. It works, it helps them make more money. To be successful, you have to stand out. And the way to do that is with branding.

But to brand, you need to first figure out what about your writing style, your books, and you is unique, and brand that. There are readers searching for what you are writing, branding will help them find you. They will read your books and see that the branding, the promise, holds true. Then when they want to read a book, for instances, one set in the dark ages in a Celtic land with historical accuracy and strong female characters, blended with Celtic mythology, instead of saying all that, they’ll say, I want to read one of Cornelia Amiri's Celtic romance novels.

And it will work the same of for you. With branding, our books will stand out from all the other books even though the titles and covers seem so much alike.

Cornelia Amiri taps into her Welsh, Scottish, and Irish roots to write the Celtic/Romance books Druid Bride, Druid Quest, Queen of Kings, Timeless Voyage, A Fine Cauldron of Fish, Vixen Princess, The Fox Prince, Danger Is Sweet, and One Heart One Way. She loves to read historical, paranormal, and romance novels. Books that combine the three genres are her biggest weakness, except for chocolate.


Joanne Brothwell said...

Wow - I've read a lot about "brand" but never really got it - until now. This fleshes out the whole concept, and helps me understand it as an idea of a "promise" to the readers, so they know what to expect.

Thanks, Cornelia.

Karyn Good said...

Hi Cornelia and warm welcome to the Prairies. Very interesting post! I liked your definition of branding in the context of reader expectation. Also, I thought it an intriguing idea to remember back to the moment a writer first decides to try for publication. I'm going to be thinking about that today and what my 'brand' entails.

Anita Mae Draper said...

Welcome, Cornelia.

Excellent post on branding. Like the others, I believe this is the best definition I've ever read on the subject. I'm going to copy this one and put it in my 'need to know and do' file.

I hadn't thought about a logo, but having read about your torc, it makes so much sense.

Thank you for being our guest today.


Corneia Amiri said...

Thank you so much Joanne, Karyn, and Anita for the kind words. I’m so glad you all liked the post and are interested in branding to help promote your books and your writing. I’m sorry I’m posting so late the post happened the same day as Apollo Con (It’s a sci-fi/Fantasy Con in Houston each year) So I was there, branding. LOL