Unsure of Your “Author Brand”? Check-In Here.

librarything.com

 

What’s your “author brand”?

Are the books you write humorous, or technical? Or maybe they’re mysterious? Or literary?

Is your writing flowing, or staccato? Is it ethereal? How about juicy?

Are you a professional, or are you a bag o’ trail mix?

  

An “author brand” is a unique set of pervasive, consistent images and qualities a professional writer publically cultivates to establish recognition in a genre, and expectation in a target audience. A positive, solid author brand gives a writer credibility, and in turn, helps sell that writer’s books. A writer establishes a positive author brand through consistent quality writing in a specific genre. Additionally, an author brand can be built up (or torn down) by the way an author self-promotes and networks with agents, publishers, other authors, and most importantly, readers.

Maybe you have a rock-solid author brand firmly entrenched in your mind, but you’re not sure it’s in your readers’ minds.

Maybe you’re not sure how you present yourself, or even how you want to present yourself.

Or perhaps (like me) you have a vague idea of what image you’d like to present to your readers, but you’re not sure that image is coming across in your writing and social networking.

So . . in the spirit of writerly cooperation, I invite you- yes, that means YOU- to leave a comment, (even a “hi” will do) and I (and hopefully others who leave comments) will check out your blog, then come back here and tell you what kind of author brand is coming across. Of course, this is only a quick skim of your blog content, and does not consider any actual books you’ve written, or any other networking and promoting you may or may not do.

So click on the commenters, skim through the first pages, and nicely let them know your impression of their author brands.

One more thing- this is NOT a “blog critique”- this is a “general author brand impression” blog hop.

Thank you for participating!

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Leave a comment

34 Comments

  1. I’ll bite. Let’s see how my brand is coming across.

    Reply
    • Hi Austin,

      Hmm, I’ve been to your blog several times and I know you on Twitter, so my impression of you is a combination of those things.

      On Twitter, you strike me a a helpful, friendly person (RT’ing and having conversations from silly to serious). On your blog, you seem like someone who’s serious about writing and freelancing. Writing *is* your profession and you’re serious about learning and growing and getting things done. Along the way, you share your thoughts and what you’ve learned with others – while not worrying about language. LOL!

      On the other hand, I don’t know what type of freelancing or writing you do. I don’t know if that’s something you want to have part of your brand or not, but just mentioning it case it’s relevant. (I have the same issue, I’m sure.)

      Hope that helps!

      Reply
    • @Austin- I also know you from Twitter, so the combination that and your blog make the brand I see. The impression I get is you are an editor first and a fiction writer second. You seem to know web page designing. Business-casual, with an emphasis on the casual (in a good way). Very nice, very helpful, a social writer. Just starting out your career. Actively looking for freelance writing / editing jobs. A bit of a maverick. Your fiction seems like it’s on the back burner (don’t know if that’s intentional). I’d give you a shot if I was looking for an editor or web page designer.

      Reply
  2. Interesting idea! I’ll join in. 🙂

    Reply
    • @Jami- Also know you from Twitter. I get 2 immediate impressions from your blog- one is “paranormal,” (with fog, other-worldliness, maybe a bit of spookiness) and the other is “beachy” (from the “Beach Reads with Bite”) tagline. I like both of those impressions, but (for me at least) they might be competing with each other. The “paranormal” gives me an “in the shadows” feeling, and the “beachy” gives me a “laying on a sunny beach reading chick lit” feeling. Don’t know if that’s intentional, and it could end up working in your favor (don’t know). Then I look at your avatar pic and that leans more toward “paranormal” (not in and of itself, but because I’m trying to compartmentalize your genre). Starting your novel-writing career. Amassing knowledge as you go. Seems like you already know a lot about writing fiction, and heavily promote your knowledge to fellow fiction writers.

      Reply
      • Hi CM,

        Thanks for your thoughts and your great idea here. Since I know you from Twitter as well, that influences my impression a bit.

        On Twitter, you come across as a deep-thinker, someone who enjoys talking about issues in a calm, rational way. Also, you’re helpful and supportive to others with RTs and conversations.

        Similarly, here on your blog, your posts are frequently about some issue and your points are always earnest and well-thought out.
        In other words, if your writing involves delving into “issues” (which I *think* it does?), I’d trust you to approach them intelligently and from multiple viewpoints, etc.

        I think this is all great for your brand. Too many people with strong beliefs come across as angry or combative, and you don’t at all. You seem like the kind of writer that people would read even if they didn’t agree with you, just because they knew they might learn something. If that all sounds like the impression you’re trying to create, I think you’re doing a fabulous job!

  3. Oh yeah, do me too please. 🙂

    Reply
    • Oops, hit the wrong reply button. Look above. 🙂

      Reply
      • @Jami- You’re welcome, and thank you for your evaluation! 🙂

        I’m relieved to read I come across as “calm.” lol I wondered whether I was a bit heavy with my activism links on Twitter. I suspect I’ve lost a few followers with those, but activism is as important to me as writing.

        I’m a general fiction writer with 3 (unpublished, as yet) novels so far, but I’m still trying to define my specific genre. I’m leaning toward “realistic horror fiction.” And yes, my fiction explores serious real-world issues.

        Glad you think I’m helpful. Likewise, you’re helpful as well. Thanks again. 🙂

  4. Oh, this is a great idea! I have no clue what my writing brand would be, other than word vomits. Give my blog a look!

    Reply
    • @emilyrae- lol I didn’t see any “word vomits,” though that sounds like it could be the subject of a poem. From your blog you seem to be a poet. Even your prose is poetic. I get the impression you are in college. A therapeutic writer. Writes about family / friend relationships. Psychological / spiritual writing. Not a strong direction yet, still testing the waters. I’d expect you to eventually publish a collection of poetry and / or flash fiction.

      Reply
  5. jesswords10

     /  February 5, 2011

    Sounds scary and helpful. I’m in! Thanks for offering a writer’s impression.

    Reply
    • @jess- You changed your blog, I like it! My impression is your write about topics that are “close to home.”

      OK I just read your “About” paragraph and I understand your blog better. Seems like you love writing, but are working through some serious anxiety issues with writing (“working through” with writing is an excellent idea, BTW). Blog leaves me curious about the details of the event that triggered your anxiety. I understand it may be highly personal, but your “About” paragraph probably sparks curiosity in others as well. Experimental. Documentary. Looking for support, giving support. If I happened to stumble across your blog for the first time, and was an alternative therapy practitioner, or was in a writing therapy group, I’d absolutely check back and recommend you.

      Reply
      • jesswords10

         /  February 6, 2011

        Thanks for the feedback, I never would’ve thought anyone cared why I panicked in college, but I’ll consider adding that in. Thanks for taking the time to review my new blog look and its content. I certainly appreciate the advice from all the more experienced writers/bloggers out there such as yourself, so I hope you keep coming back! Consider me your writing sponge ready to soak up any knowledge you drip my way!

  6. Hi C.M. This is a very generous offer you’re making. I know who I am, and I know how my books are the same as my blog, but I have no idea what other people are seeing. Thanks so much for your time and effort.

    Reply
    • @Piper- You’re welcome! I know who you are too. lol Your Twitter activity also shapes my impression of your brand. You have a lot of contacts, friends, and fans. Well-connected. Busy. “Type A” personality. Cordial. Opinionated. Somewhat political. Humorous. Driven. Great blog for entertainment. Your writing career is on an upward trajectory. Would expect to see you come out with a book of humorous essays / rants. If I was an agent looking for new talent, I’d have your name on file. I can absolutely picture you wowing the crowds at your book signings.

      Reply
      • Thank you for the encouraging evaluation. I would love to sell a book of my essays and rants, now that you mention it. I appreciate your time. All the best.

  7. Surfing the waves of the web I am pleasantly stranded in this beautiful blog.

    I write under the pseudonym of Josè Pascal (a descendant of the great Colonel Aureliano Buendía).

    I invite you to visit my italian writing blog http://parolesemplici.wordpress.com/mytinbox/. I define this blog “In parole Semplici” as a “virtuacultural tin” box where they are guarded thoughts, memories, images, sounds, and simple stories. ”

    If you want to participate and to have more informations send me a letter to inparolesempli@gmail.com

    Good life and I hope to soon
    Josè

    Reply
    • @Josè Thank you for the invitation.

      OK I should’ve just clicked on the link you provided and not on your name, especially not in the middle of breakfast. Those pics are among the worst images I’ve ever seen. (Fair warning for anyone reading this- the pics at the Josè Pascal name link are extremely graphic.) I take it you are a social activist reporting on modern wars. That’s commendable.

      Back to your other blog. I only read the English parts. My impression is your blog is mostly for people fluent in both English and Italian. Looks like your blog is a part of a project to collect writings and photos from people of different cultures around the world. Great idea, BTW. I would guess you eventually want to publish this collection in a paper book form. If I was an agent, I would be interested in this on the condition that your collection had a strong unifying theme.

      Reply
  8. I am the world’s only physician bluegrass fiction writer. I sell enough books to make me happy and don’t plan to change who I am. Besides, I couldn’t if I tried.

    Dr. B, author, “The Mandolin Case”

    Reply
    • @Dr. B- “world’s only physician bluegrass fiction writer”- great hook!

      Looks like your blog is a collection of folksy slice-of-life vignettes. Strongly Christian. “Moral of story”-ish. I think it would appeal to a fundamental Christian demographic. My guess is with a solid Christian fan base in place, you’d probably sell quite a few story collections via Christian bookstores. Maybe you already do.

      Reply
      • I always said as long I got to write what I believed to be the truth I’d be satisfied.

        My sales goal was to come in somewhere between three thousand and three million and I’ve done that too, so all is well.

        Dr. B

  9. Oh, now I’m curious! Tell me! ^_^

    Reply
    • @Manon- Also know you from Twitter, and I just now read on your blog you’ll be making some changes in your postings. But I suspect your author brand won’t change too much, so . .

      You’ve made it clear you’re a college student, so that puts you in the “beginning of a writing career” category. Cerebral. Studied. Learned. Matter-of-fact, but with a friendly delivery. Personable. Approachable. Inviting. You have an obvious enthusiasm for psychology and and related fields. I would expect you to write “true crime” stories (the good ones) on your own or in collaboration with people involved in the cases. (I realize the stories you have on your website aren’t “true crime,” but that genre is my first-glance impression.) Setting genre aside, I would expect you to write stories with deep psychological themes, and to explore the connection between the physical and the mental.

      Reply
      • Thank you very much for the evaluation! You know, it’s not odd that you would think I’d write “true crime” stories – I actually study criminology as well, and take many forensic psychiatry courses. I haven’t yet found a way to focus on it yet on my blog but I’d like to go into that direction more, too.

        You’re pretty spot on about the psychological and philosophical themes that I base stories on. I think they’re themes that everyone is interested in, in one way or another, too.

        I’m glad I’m coming across as friendly and inviting – that’s a good thing… I’m always scared I don’t seem inviting enough or seem to pushy!

        Honestly, when I started blogging about the themes that I do (I don’t know many other blogs are similar) I had never really expected for people to actually come back, and I expected even less that people would be so enthusiastic about it, and willing to discuss. 😀 all in all it’s all very exciting and in the few months that I’ve been doing this, I’ve learned a lot and in my opinion I’ve already improved a lot at blogging!

        Thanks again!

        (as for the changes… I won’t change much in the way I write, but just in the schedule. I’m actually planning on posting “Did you know…” blogs every day that I’m not doing a “regular” post, just to keep things alive).

  10. Hello!

    Well, this is quite a way to shake up how we see ourselves 🙂 Please, do come take a look,I’m not even close to establishing brand – I’m still establishing writing habits, after all. About every other post is a writing update, in between is what-have-you on my mind. Thanks for any feedback you have time, interest, and inclination for.

    Intriguing site here, when I have more time later this week, I’ll feedback as well.

    http://www.sharis-orchidandmayhem.blogspot.com

    Thanks,
    shari

    Reply
    • Hello, Shari!

      From your blog you seem like you’re a multi-talented artist dabbling in many media. Your blog focuses on writing, but you also desire to incorporate other art forms into your presentation. Heavily influenced by other successful writers. Active in your local arts community, though I get the impression you may be house-bound from your tag line. Family-oriented. Finding your direction. Honing your skills. Eclectic. Busy. Cheerful. I would expect to see you illustrate you own poetry and fiction books and collaborate with artists in a variety of media.

      Reply
      • Thanks for taking your time out for this assessment 🙂 You are identifying my current writing persona pretty accurately. I understand that as I progress, I’ll need to really consider the perception more carefully, right now it’s all about actual production – I’ll be happy when I am clearing time for promotion as well.

        Thanks for this generous exercise, you’ve shown an important point of view when checking out other blogs. I like that your blog is ‘straightforward’, and that you show considerable thought and craft in your posts.

        Keep up the great work – see you Sunday/ROW 80!

  11. Hi! Just reading on other people’s blog when I stumbled on yours. I figured that since you know 2 of my subscriptions I might check yours out, too.

    This post is interesting. To be honest, it scares me a little to be analyzed like this but here goes.

    Reply
    • Hi, Marilag!

      My first impression is you use your blog as a promotion of your Christianity, because the Jesus graphic is the first thing I see. Granted, that graphic is attached to a specific post, and will move down the line as you add more posts. But for now, I would immediately label your blog as a Christian blog.

      I read further and your focus seems to be self-help. You are reflective, meditative, and spiritual. Learning. Contemplative. People-oriented.

      I would expect you to write a Christian-themed, self-help, or personal transformation book some day.

      Reply
      • Close. I’m more of a deist but I do go to both Roman Catholic and Christian church. But yes, I’m deciding whether or not to write a self-help book someday (especially after a close friend of mine keeps telling me to do so).

  12. @Shari- Thank you for your thoughtful words. 🙂 See you @ ROW80!

    Reply

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