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Why authors need a personal brand: Advice on how to make it happen

Discover 4 reasons why authors need a personal brand and 10 steps to create yours in this detailed primer from expert Jessica Sorentino.

When I met author branding pro Jessica Sorentino through a mutual friend, I knew immediately that she had lots of wisdom to share with you! Jessica helps authors – aspiring, debut, and repeat – elevate their name and build notoriety with readers through content and community. Between working at a Big Five publishing house and launching her personal branding and social consultancy, Jessica has made a name for herself over the past decade by educating hundreds of authors on how to make a name for themselves, too. She is the host of the soon-to-launch “Open Book” podcast, and founder of Turning Pages, a personal branding partnership program for authors. Be sure to subscribe to Jessica’s author newsletter (I did!) and follow her on Instagram.

Why authors need a personal brand: Advice on how to make it happen

By Jessica Sorentino

In today’s competitive and information-saturated world, authors must go beyond simply telling the stories in their books – they need to tell their own story, too.

This, my friends, is personal branding.

Every author should consider crafting a personal brand that resonates with their target readers and sets them apart in a crowded marketplace. Effective author branding not only increases visibility, but also fosters reader loyalty and trust.

why authors need a personal brand

Why authors need a personal brand

Here are more reasons why authors need a personal brand.

Differentiation

With millions of books published each year, standing out is a formidable challenge. Your author brand is your unique selling proposition, allowing readers to differentiate your work from the rest. A strong brand communicates what makes your writing distinctive and why it’s worth ending up on readers’ bookshelf.

Connection

Authors who build strong brands forge deeper connections with their readers. Readers don’t just want a book; they want an experience, and that includes a relationship with you, the author. Your brand is the bridge that connects you with your audience emotionally, making readers feel more invested in your work.

Credibility

A well-crafted brand builds credibility and trust. It shows that you’re not just a one-hit wonder, but a professional committed to your craft. Consistency in your branding and messaging reinforces this trust over time.

Marketing and promotion

Your brand serves as the foundation for your marketing efforts. It provides a clear direction for your promotional activities, making it easier to identify where and how to reach your target audience. It’s the magnet that attracts readers, agents, collaborators, and publishers alike.

Your brand is the magnet that attracts readers, agents, collaborators, and publishers alike. ~ Jessica SorentinoClick to tweet

10 steps to a personal brand

Sounds great, right? But how do you actually build an author brand? Let’s dive into tips to get started branding yourself today:

1. Know your audience.

Your brand is an equal combination of who you are in relation to your goals, and what your dream readers care about – shared in the places you can intentionally connect with one another.

Understanding your dream readers requires thorough market research and a clear understanding of who they are.

USP graphic2. Define your unique selling proposition (USP).

What makes your writing unique? Your USP is the core of your brand.

It could be your writing style, your expertise in a particular genre or subject, or your personal story. This uniqueness is what will set you apart from the competition, and starts to build that emotional connection to your community.

3. Develop a consistent branding statement.

Develop a clear, concise branding statement that encapsulates your brand’s core values and what readers can expect from your work. This statement can serve as a guideline for your marketing and promotional efforts.

4. Craft a compelling author bio.

Your author bio should succinctly convey who you are and what you stand for. Highlight your accomplishments, experiences, and the essence of your writing. Make it relatable and engaging.

A general template to follow includes: who you are, what you write, and who you write for.

5. Be consistent across platforms.

Ensure consistency in your brand visuals, voice, and messaging across all platforms. This includes your author website, social media profiles, book covers, and promotional materials.

Consistency reinforces your brand identity and builds recognition and trust.

6. Engage with your audience.

Building a brand involves active engagement with your readers.

Respond to comments on your blog or social media, participate in discussions related to your genre, and create opportunities for meaningful interaction. Personal connections enhance brand loyalty.

whya authors need a personal brand 2

7. Leverage content marketing.

Produce content that aligns with your brand values and appeals to your target audience.

This can include blog posts, videos, podcasts, or guest appearances on relevant platforms.

Quality content helps establish authority and reinforces your brand.

8. Be authentic.

Be genuine and authentic in your interactions and communications. Readers can spot insincerity from a mile away.

Authenticity is a cornerstone of trust-building, so find interesting and creative ways to connect while staying true to your brand.

Authenticity is a cornerstone of trust-building. ~ Jessica SorentinoClick to tweet

9. Create a visual identity.

Your visual elements, such as a logo, book covers, and website design, should align with your brand’s personality. These elements are the first things readers encounter, so they should accurately convey your brand’s essence and be aesthetically consistent.

10. Be open to reinvention.

Don’t be afraid to evolve and adapt your brand as your writing and goals change. Rebranding can breathe new life into your author career and attract a fresh audience.


In an age where content is abundant and attention spans are limited, authors must go beyond the bookshelf.

With dedication and a well-crafted brand, you can not only thrive, you can also leave a lasting legacy in the world of literature.

Do you think authors should brand themselves? Why or why not? Please tell us in a comment.

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