What do you stand for? If you have a clear, strong answer for that question, give yourself a pat on the back. But if you are unable to clearly define what you do, how can you expect an audience to understand your message?
Books are one of the best ways to build a brand, as they reinforce your message and can set you up for future writing.
We have gained a lot of experience creating book brands, by working with our authors as well as branding expert Liz Goodgold.
Here are five of the most important elements of building your book brand.
When building your brand, it’s important to be true to your message and what you stand for. This is a concept that you hope will be successful for the rest of your life, so it should represent the real you and your real message. An example of this is Nisa Burns, author of Kitchenability 101. She stood for being friends with your kitchen and teaching people how to cook for life. So Kitchenability became her brand. Author Bridge Media was part of the team that helped her create that brand name.
A book title that is destined to be forgotten is Rendezvous with Exquisite French Eclairs. Few people are going to easily remember how to spell rendezvous, exquisite and eclairs. The title has to be something that people immediately know how to spell and are going to remember.
These days, everyone is searching online for the items they need. In your book title and brand name, try including keywords that your target audience might be searching for, without being too obtrusive. This is a great way to be sure your message gets in front of your audience.
Your book title should be able to work for a book series in the future. Nisa Burn's first book was called Kitchenability 101: The College Student's Guide to Easy, Healthy and Delicious Food. This set her up for future books in the series, such as Kitchenability 201: A Cookbook for Young Couples. As she grows in her career, she can write cookbooks for families, people with special diet needs, etc. using that brand name. She can also create products, a TV show and more, all with that brand serving as her anchor.
Another great example of this is the brand of Chicken Soup books. Chicken Soup for the Soul was introduced in 1993 by authors Jack Canfield and Mark Victor Hansen. The two capitalized on the success of the first book by creating a series of other books that appealed to a more narrow audience, such as Chicken Soup for the Teenage Soul, Chicken Soup for the Father’s Soul, Chicken Soup for the Dog Lover’s Soul and more than 100 other titles. Today, Chicken Soup is among the most recognizable book brands.
Your brand should be something that you can put in your book title or subtitle to “brand” the book or create a visual editorial consistency. This can be used through speaking topics or products. One good example of this is Timothy Ferriss’s The 4-Hour Work Week. After the first installment, Ferriss was able to create other books, including The 4-Hour Chef and The 4-Hour Body. And, in the future, when Ferriss wants to create products or host events, he can use the “4 Hour” branding to help people identify with the product.
If you need assistance planning and organizing your book, a professional ghostwriter or editorial coach can help.