What is Author Branding?

I recently had a chat with one of my fellow writing buddies about author branding. Whilst most of us know we need to be doing book marketing, not everyone has yet grasped the idea of author branding so today we're going to be taking a look at exactly what author branding is and why it's important. If you're good I'll even share some ideas for how to build your author brand ;)

So, what is author branding? 

When we say "author brand" what we're really talking about is building an image or identity that people associate with us as a brand. When someone walks into a bookstore to purchase a novel by Nora Roberts, they don't say, "Can you tell me where I can find, The Three Fates?" They say, "Do you have the latest Nora book?"

Your author name needs to come to mind when people think of books in your niche. It's more about you than specifically about your books, but it goes a bit further than that.

How do you market your author brand?

When marketing your author brand you need to put out content that marks you as an expert in your niche.

You need to work that SEO so you show up in searches connected with your niche.

In author branding you need to convey your personality and your interests. When people visit your website or social media profile your key areas should be obvious.

Add a description rich with keywords to every blog post you do.
Use your keywords in your content headlines.

Create content in different formats too. Infographics, video, slideshows, images... You can use them individually on different social media sites but also insert them in articles and blog posts for your own site and guest posts.

Getting the idea?

Now let's dig a little deeper...

All businesses need a business plan.

Do you have a marketing plan for your blog posts? What is the goal of each post you publish? e.g. on my blog at www.JoLinsdell.com I have 3 main goals 1) To promote my books (and hopefully sell more copies) 2) Get more illustrating assignments and therefore promote my illustrating services 3) Mark myself as an expert in my key areas (children's books, and book marketing).

On Mondays I currently do a review showcase featuring a different one of my books each week. Easy content as I can copy and paste reviews from Amazon. It's testimonials too and having others tell people you rock is always better than trying to convince them yourself. This customer proof is a success indicator and a powerful tool.

On Tuesdays I share one of my Quick Tips video's. Again easy content as I'm posting them to YouTube as part of my author branding over there. I also share them on my other sites. This is where I build my reputation as an expert in my niche. Several of these quick 1-2 minute videos have been picked up and used in blog posts on other peoples sites and the series has also resulted in invitations to present at events too so it's definitely turning out to be a winner.

Wednesdays are for my work in progress updates. This is when I let my readers know what I'm working on and what stage I'm at. Helps create pre-release buzz and shows what I do e.g. writing and illustrating. This helps reach all 3 of my main goals as it shows I'm an expert in my niche, helps sell books, and helps attract new clients.

Thursdays are Ask Jo days. This is where I share a video of me answering a question. Questions can be random as it's a "get to know the author" thing. Again, this gives me easy content (and video to upload to YouTube ;)) but also helps me meet my 3 main goals.

Featured Friday is for networking purposes. Good for karma but also helps bring new readers to my site as the author I host promotes the stop and their fans drop by.

Weekends are flexible. I either post nothing on those days or use them for blog hops I'm taking part in, general updates about challenges I'm doing, etc...

When you guest post for others you still need to keep your key goals in mind. Why are you guest posting on that site? How is it going to help you reach one of your key goals?

When you put out content that hits all your key goals in the one piece, you're doing author branding the right way.

You should do the same for your posts on social media. There should be a reason for everything you share on your author pages/profiles.

Your author pic is part of your author brand because that's how people see you when they see your name. I also have a logo that I use on video's, photo's, etc...

What are you doing to build your author brand? Leave a comment below with your 2 cents.



  1. Thank you for this! When I try to copy and paste our convos into a word document to save them then you know you have dome really good blog post material here lol!

    "See a need, fill a need." Robots

    Our conversation helped me figure out exactly what corner of the market I should be aiming at and how I can better reach that market! For all that are wondering, there are very few science fiction writers out there who write specifically for younger audiences. Realizing I fall into that gap, I have been working on re tweaking my marketing plan.

    Thanks for all your help and support Jo! You are a great friend and I hope everyone learns as much from you as I do!

    1. Thanks Virginia. Our chats are great for inspiring blog post ideas ;) I'm glad I was able to help you get a better focus for your marketing plan. The more targeted you can make your marketing, the better the results you'll get.


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