Friday, September 05, 2008

You and Your Tagline - Author Branding and Promotion

I will confess--I'm probably not the expert I should be when it comes to author branding. As an ebook author (meaning one small fish among bazillions of others who look pretty much the same, all paddling down here in the depths with the kelp and the weeds and the big kahunas paddling above all blocking any sun that might highlight one or two rainbow scales we might be hoping to flash), I ought to have already hopped on the promo bus and ridden that thing until the wheels fell off. As an ebook author, I know that all we have is promo and branding.

Now, I am probably the worst example of "personal branding" anyone could come up with. I share a home chapter of RWA with the lovely and talented Jenn Stark, who is in my estimation, the queen of personal branding. Between her, Kay Lockner, and Linda Keller all over at AuthorMBA, I am in the presence of greats. So I have the tagline, I have the brand--at least in my brain, and I have the steps I'm supposed to take.

However, I've since come to the conclusion that all promo is a crapshoot anyway. On my publisher boards, we're constantly having conversations among the authors about what kinds of promo to do, when to do it, why, how, where, and to what music. We have a wide range of very enthusiastic authors who really want to sell books and will try all sorts of creative ways to do so. And we have found that the old marketing adage is absolutely true--one half of your advertising dollar is always wasted--but no one knows which half!

We've come to believe--and the numbers seem to largely support this, that the absolute best way to increase your sales on a book is to...write another book as good or better than the last one.

Marketing is designed to get your name out there and under the noses and eyeballs of the people most likely to buy what you're selling. We use bookmarks, pens, magnets, kitschy little giveaways designed to do just that, but we do that in lieu of having another book to feed their real cravings. Your best marketing strategy is to give 'em what they want, and what they want is a story.

1 comment:

Savanna Kougar said...

Xandra, excellent motivation, or a great excuse to continue what I want to do ~ write!
Boy, I sure don't know what works. And I think it is a crap shoot about what works unless you're already fairly well established.