Whoa - you people are Krazy! Lots of competitiveness out there. I am loving the comments and meeting new bloggers. keep it up. If you are just coming - the contest goes all month. here's the original post. To all you players - lets' see who can keep up this pace all month long! :0)
Beware of your Shadow Brand!
This past weekend, I spoke at an SCBWI conference in Atlanta on Getting past your fear of branding/marketing. I promised I would blog about it as a recap.
Befor eyou decide what your brand is - you need to be aware of the brand you are giving off.
Beware of your Shadow brand - Be aware of what type of vibe you give off. I'm not talking about if you just have a bad day. I mean the "consistent shadow brand" you may be projecting. Are you scared, frustrated, desperate, confident etc. If you don't know what it is - ask your critique group members.
Develop your own Author branding. This is your personal brand as a writer/author. You do not need to be published for your author brand. You only need to know your writing. What do you write? what is special about it? What colors represent you?
What do you need for your author brand?
- Web site ( a must!!!!!). Go for some variation of your name. (yourname.com) If you can't get it throw in your middle name or initials. You want your name as your author web site - it is easier to find that "YAbookauthor.com"
- Blog (Andrew Karre, Editor at Carolrhoda, said yesterday that he prefers active blogs to stagnant web sites.)
- Begin networking - what can you do for other people. Do this where you are comfortable - online or in person.
- Decide on your colors/logo/look - keep it to 2 or 3 colors and figure out your style.
- professional looking biz cards (try to stay away form white and definitely stay away from printing them yourself with perforated edges. You can get printing very inexpensive these days.
What do you need for your book brand?
- all of the above
- develop a marketing strategy plan that is specific (not too generic)
- do have marketing materials - book markers, postcards etc
- If you have a series - you can always start a "book web site" "bookseriestitle.com" like harrypotter.com
- Of course - expand your networking and always follow up!!!
- Web sites - I prefer godaddy - you can get a good site for under 15$ a month. They also sell domains for about 6$ a year. There are free web sites but they will not show up in search engines and they do not have as much of a professional look.. IN addition, usually your url will have their site in the title. Like srjohannes.googlepages.com.
- Blogs - blogger or livejournal tend to be the most popular ones
- free Blog templates - http://www.templates-blogger.com/ or http://btemplates.com/
- Social networking - free (facebook/myspace/goodreads etc)
- Twitter - free
- Business cards - you can always design them and print them at vistprint.com or iprint.com. keep in mind the design is not totally customizable.
- Other materials - again vistaprint.com allows you to upload documents and print for very inexpensive. (postcards/brochures/flyers).
Should you ever spend money?
I say not if you don't have to. (my hubby and accountant are killing me right now :)
If you ever decide to spend any money on marketing - I would highly recommend hiring a graphic designer to custom design your web site, biz cards, and other marketing materials. You do the copy and printing yourself. If you pay a graphic designer to put it together, be sure you ask and receive the print ready files. That way, you can print inexpensively on vistprint or iprint.
For those who asked - I give 20% off to writers and 30% off to SCBWI members. I will also promise to always beat your other estimates by 10% (assuming their prices are in alignment with the Graphic Artists Guild Pricing Guidelines and Ethics.
Hope this helps!