Author branding questions

As an author, are you a brand? Do you want to be a brand? Do you need to be a brand?

What’s all this about author branding, anyway?

Essentially, your brand as an author is what people think of when they hear your name. It’s a collection of impressions people have of you, and those impressions can come from your:

  • Books — both what they look like and what’s in them
  • In-person interactions with readers and others
  • Online interaction with readers and others
  • Social media contributions
  • Website
  • Personality

Your brand is who you are, what you stand for, how you handle and present yourself, what you do. It’s the authentic you, not a manufactured you.

Ask yourself these author branding questions

To help develop yours and the imagery that surrounds it — a unified look that goes with you across all platforms, from your website to your book covers to your social media profiles — ask yourself these 5 questions:

1. What am I known for, and is that an accurate reflection of who I am?

If it isn’t, what changes do you need to make?

2. How do others describe me?

Does their description match yours? Or is there a disconnect between their perception and yours?

3. What am I naturally good at? What do I do best?

Are you doing this now, or have you moved far away from it?

4. What differentiates me from my competition?

What’s unique about you or what you offer? How do you compare to others — they’re more X and you’re more Y, but what’s Y for you?

5. Am I a leader, a follower, or a helper?

This is important because a leader’s brand looks and feels different from a follower’s or a helper’s.

Do you need help defining your brand?

Do you need help developing your brand? Brand-building is a careful, thoughtful, strategic process. Most of us need help uncovering and leveraging our natural brand.

I can guide you through the process as a consultant, asking the questions you need to answer, then helping you make sure that what people see matches what they will get. Just e-mail me to start the conversation.

How would you describe your author brand?

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  1. Hi Sandy,
    I realized while reading this post that I’d had a misconception and a back off on branding. I had this idea that branding was packaging me and my skills and goals into what others wanted.
    Your statement “authentic you, not a manufactured you” caused an epiphany!
    Thanks so much!

    1. I’m so glad to learn that, Karin! If it’s not the “real” you, it’s not sustainable. Don’t you love these little “aha!” moments?


  2. Hi again!
    I DO love the “ah ha” moments.
    What I create might not appeal to everyone. But if I do the best at it that I possibly can (and this yardstick keeps rising as I learn and grow) then the right audience will embrace my work. And I’ll treat them like valued friends. This I can do!
    And I can only do it as myself! Your post reenforced this certainty!

    1. You’re welcome, Kenda. Thanks for taking the time to commment! Too many authors overlook the branding concept (most likely because they’re unaware of it), so it’s easy to stand out by defining your brand and incorporating it into everything you do.


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