I can hear you screaming, “What brand? I don’t have a brand! Keep that hot iron away from me!” (Cue the theme music from “Rawhide”)
Well, I’m not asking you to be The Author with the Tolstoy Tattoo or anything, unless dead Russian authors really ring your bells. While that would garner attention at the family picnic or the opening night mixer at the writers’ convention, it’s not really a useful tool for getting your name out there.
What you want to do is Brand Yourself through social media.
You will probably write many books, so your book titles can’t be your brand, even if you are writing an epic fantasy series. Neither my Tower of Bones series nor my Billy’s Revenge series can be my brand, because using their titles doesn’t focus the attention into one cohesive spot well enough.
So what IS your brand? I sat in on a webinar on marketing that was made available to me by the Pacific Northwest Writers Association this last weekend. While I didn’t learn anything I didn’t already know about marketing in general, this is what the presenter said, and it made sense to me:
Your Author Name is your Brand, so you must:
1. Market the underlying theme that links your books–your AUTHOR NAME
2. Communicate that brand though social media
3. Blog, and communicate—write what you know or what you want to read and post it regularly
Yesterday you opened a twitter account. Today you are going to make a Facebook Author Page. If you look at my Google page from yesterday, the first 5 things come up in this order:
1> My GoodReads profile (That will be our 5th and final workshop)
2> My Amazon Author Page (Once we have all of these media pulled together and you have your book published you will put together an Amazon Author Page with links to all your media.)
3> This blog, Life in the Realm of Fantasy (See? Regular blogging does pay off.)
4> My Facebook Author Page
5> My LinkedIn page
SO – today we are going to get ourselves out there on Facebook. First, you must go to www.facebook.com and open a personal account if you don’t already have one. You don’t have to use it, but you can’t get a professional page without one. YOU REALLY DON’T WANT TO SPAM YOUR PERSONAL FB FRIENDS ABOUT YOUR BOOK—it’s rude and ruins folks’ cute kitty picture moments.
Once you have that taken care of, you go to the ‘create pages’ page, https://www.facebook.com/pages/create.php . There are 6 squares representing the various sectors of professional pages. You want to click on ‘public figure’.
Click here ↑ and a new menu will open up. You will select ‘Author’. Fill in your Pen Name exactly as you want it to be. Place a check in the little box that says you agree to Facebook’s terms and click the ‘get started’ button.
This will take you to a place where you will fill in the blanks and soon you will have your professional fb page up and running. You can use your personal page to invite your friends to ‘like’ your page once, that is not considered too rude.
My author page on Facebook is https://www.facebook.com/cjjasperson and I’ve fixed it up to represent me as a writer. Everyone has a different style, this is mine.
You’re telling me it’s just like twitter—you don’t have anything to say. I am telling you that it IS EXACTLY like twitter.
You have plenty to say! You’re an author, you spew words out the ends of your fingers. Keep both your tweets and your Facebook posts light, and keep them short. This is where you let your prospective fans know what is going on with your work. On Facebook, occasionally post about things you are doing, such as word-count on a current project, the projected date of publication for the new novel, these sorts of things.
I linked this blog to something called Networked Blogs which is a Facebook app, and my blog posts automatically post to my professional page so that the content there regularly updates itself and my page doesn’t stagnate. That link is http://www.networkedblogs.com/syndication and it is a really good resource.
Now that you have your Facebook page, it’s time to get your Linked In account up and running and also your about.me account. We will be discussing these two wonderful resources tomorrow!