Branding for Authors

Branding…it’s a word we hear all the time associated with everything from baby food to high-end automobiles. Why would authors need to create their own brand?

Because readers read not only for the content but for the person who creates that content. Experts writing in nonfiction fields have known this forever. In fiction, it has long been called “the story behind the story,” and includes everything from the author’s journey to why they write specific novels or children’s stories.

Branding can seem complex and downright bizarre for authors. It actually is quite simple. Answer these five questions to find the core of your brand:

1. Why do you write?

2. What do you write about most often?

3. Why do you write about that topic/s most often?

4. Who will be helped by reading your books (fiction or nonfiction)?

5. How can you best tell the story behind the story?

If you need help, Writer’s Resource is only an email or phone call away!

McGraw-Hill Deal Will Help Authors

McGraw-Hill is well-known for its strength in academic (educational and professional) content. It is partnering with Follett to expand sales of ebooks into K-12 schools.

This will have a good impact on authors. The availability of ebooks allows for more readers to find authors they might otherwise never hear about. Ebooks also provide publishers with a way to monetize their backlist, which means that authors whose works are out of print can derive fresh income when their books are re-released in electronic form.

The disruption is doing its job. Things are looking up for publishers and for authors, and this is just one example!

Eink on Phones

Midia Inkphone is not the first on the market to offer eink on a phone. It is, however, an indicator that people are reading more on their phones than ever before.

I have been waiting for a device like a phone or an iPad to allow for both internet browsing and eink displays for American readers (both devices now available are for foreign markets). I don’t particularly enjoy reading on a full digital display. It just isn’t the same. And studies comparing the impact between digital reading and reading on the page prove that the brain retains more with print.

So eink is a good midway point. It will help readers engage more with the story or content. It also is much easier on the eyes!

Hachette-Perseus Deal Includes 400 Indie Publishers

Hachette recently bought Perseus books. What hasn’t been discussed widely in the media is that the deal included 400 indie publishers.┬áThe indies represent $300 million in distribution sales volume of the total value represented in the deal.

This is great news for authors. Although the merge hasn’t been without its issues for the indies, it does signal that traditional houses are taking indies seriously…and that they value the products they produce. In time, we are likely to see more mergers like this with traditional houses and indies teaming up to revitalize publishing…and reading.

BookTrack’s Twist on Audiobooks

BookTrack, at, offers a unique marketing option. Authors can log onto the site and, using audio they find themselves or audio clips from the library, generate a sound track for the first section of their books.

This doesn’t have any voiceover, so it’s not an audio book. It is, however, a way to evoke a stronger response in potential readers to your work. And anything that can help pull in more readers is worth a try.

Self-publishing Squeezes All Authors

In late June, the Shatzkin Files worked up an interesting comparison of data on publishing. The study looked at how authors used to perform before self-publishing became such a big trend. Generally, there were always the big authors, few enough in number. Then came the midlist, authors who did well enough but who had to build to the breakout over the course of several books…if they ever broke out. And then came the ones who sank quickly after publication.

Now, self-publishing is changing the economics for authors but not necessarily in a good way. With so many additional titles available, the midlist author is being squeezed out. There is simply too much static in the background for them to make a splash. The big authors, meanwhile, keep getting bigger as readers turn more and more toward the names they recognize.

And the third group, the rest who sink, is growing larger. These elements impact authors no matter if they have self-published or gone to a traditional house. Take this into account when you consider stepping into the indie arena…it might be harder than you think. And remember, too, that you can self-publish and still approach agents and publishers with the same book at the same time.

Publishers Make More Online Than B&M

BookStats now estimates that publishers are making more money off of internet sales (for print and ebooks) than from revenues created by brick-and-mortar stores.

The difference in the percentages is small but this is a first.

Keep this in mind as you go about marketing your book…whether it’s traditionally published or indie produced, ebook or print. If you need help, the Writer’s Resource marketing plan is geared specifically toward low-cost and no-cost digital opportunities.