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74 Posts tagged with the author_brand tag

What your brand needs

Posted by CreateSpaceBlogger Jan 31, 2018


I'm going to take a difficult concept, use some reductive trickery, and turn it into a simple solution to help you build your brand. It's what we in the branding business call the "portability stratagem."

The difficult concept in this case is how do you continuously grow your brand and turn it into a reliable source of income? You are an author. Your brand is your name. It's what sells your books. In order to sell those books, you have to draw bigger and more connected crowds to your social media community. How do you do that?

Here's the reductive trickery. Your brand has to add value to your community. It has to bring a sense of worth to your friends and followers. So much so that they feel compelled to share the value of your brand to their friends and followers.

Some of you may be thinking that your book is your brand's value, and that is true to an extent, but here's the thing, it is static value. It doesn't change from the day you publish it. In order to grow a brand, you need to have dynamic value. You need to offer your community something continuously new.


In today's social media driven world, the most lucrative commodity is information. You have to find a way to bring new and exciting information to your readers. Whether it's related to your genre, your life, your hobby, etc., it doesn't matter. If it fascinates you, and you can communicate this information with passion and zeal, then it will reach people. It will add value to your brand.


Richard Ridley is an award winning author and paid CreateSpace contributor.


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Passive Income and Marathon Branding


Branding: The rule of productivity





1,484 Views 6 Comments Permalink Tags: book_marketing, branding, author_brand, author_branding, book_branding

In my old life, I sold broadcast video equipment. One of the products we sold was a character generator for live broadcasts. I was tabbed as the trainer for the equipment and sent to Waterloo in Toronto, Canada, to spend a week at company headquarters to learn as much as I could about the product. With the exception of the airline losing my luggage, it was well worth the trip. My company liaison gave me a tour of the facility and our first stop was research and development. I was shocked to see their primary competitor's product sitting in pieces on one of the work tables. My tour guide chuckled at my confused look and said, "That's what you call reverse engineering. Don't worry. We paid for the machine."


Turns out this is a common practice in the corporate world. What better way to know how to beat your competition than to know how they construct their product? You can do the same, even though you really don't have competition as an author. Remember, my philosophy about books is that a well-written book by a fellow author only helps you sell more books because readers always want more. It's a healthy addiction.


But, that doesn't mean you can't look at successful authors in your genre and deconstruct their brand to help you understand how to build yours. How often do they post to social media? Do they use email newsletters? Do they do a lot of personal appearances? Do they utilize personal videos?


Knowledge is power. You can learn a lot just by reverse engineering another author's brand.


-Richard Contributors/RidleyHeadshot_blog.jpg

Richard Ridley is an award winning author and paid CreateSpace contributor.



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Reverse Journaling for Your Brand

Evaluating Your Author Brand

1,013 Views 3 Comments Permalink Tags: writing, branding, author_marketing, author_brand, brand_identity


A general rule of thumb for using social media as a marketing tool is to follow the "80/20 rule." In other words, only 20 percent of your tweets should be about your work. The rest of the time you should provide interesting content that is relevant to your target audience. This makes sense, because think about it: If your Twitter feed is nothing but a steady stream of BUY MY BOOK, who is going to want to follow you?


Here are some examples of how to provide interesting content that is relevant to your target audience:




     If you're a life coach and your book is about finding one's calling:


  • Tweet an article about a grandfather who changed careers at age 60.
  • Tweet a survey about executives who wish they'd majored in something else.
  • Tweet a video of an interview with someone you find inspiring.


     If your novel is about a weekend adventure in New York City:


  • Tweet about your favorite restaurants in NYC.
  • Tweet a link to airfare specials to NYC.
  • Tweet an article about the best hot dog stands in NYC.


     If you've written a children's book:


  • Tweet a link to research about the importance of parents' reading to kids.
  • Tweet an article that mentions a celebrity's favorite book from his or her childhood.
  • Tweet (or conduct!) a survey of teachers' views on reading.

Do you see where I'm going with these examples? Each positions you as an expert in the subject matter of your book, even if your book is a novel. If your Twitter readers (think about those who see retweets, not just your followers) appreciate and enjoy the content you offer, maybe they will notice your bio and pick up a copy of your book. You never know, right? (Be sure to mention your book in your Twitter bio so they will see it!)


Maria Murnane is a paid CreateSpace contributor and the best-selling author of the Waverly Bryson series, Cassidy Lane, Katwalk, and Wait for the Rain. She also provides consulting services on book publishing and marketing. Have questions for Maria? You can find her at





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Tips for Promoting Your Book on Twitter


Twitter Challenge: 21 Days, 21 Prompts





1,031 Views 2 Comments Permalink Tags: authors, promotion, promotions, branding, social_media, author_brand


Posted by CreateSpaceBlogger Dec 11, 2017


Do you know what is at the heart of your brand or of any brand? It has nothing to do with your appearance. It has nothing to do with your style. It has nothing to do with your platform. It has nothing to do with your books. I should say it has nothing to do with any of these things while simultaneously having to do with all of these things. This thing that is at the heart of your brand is sharing.

Your brand is defined by what you share. Whether it's information, a video, a link, or a photo, what you share defines how you interact with your community and not just your community. What you share has the potential to reach beyond your community when your friends and followers share it with their friends and followers. In fact, what you share and not your books may be how many people are first introduced to you. Once they themselves have joined your community, they will hopefully read your books out of curiosity.

So, given that sharing is at the heart of your brand, what you share and how often you share are extremely important to the success of your brand. First, what you share should reflect the persona you are trying to establish. Second, you should be sharing as frequently as possible. Think of spreading the word about your brand as a numbers game. The more you share the more likely it is your brand will be discovered and grow.

Sharing, it's not just a great lesson to teach your kids. It is the heart of your brand. 

-Richard Contributors/RidleyHeadshot_blog.jpg

Richard Ridley is an award winning author and paid CreateSpace contributor.


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You're not just an author, you're a brand


Building an author brand: you are what you share





591 Views 1 Comments Permalink Tags: marketing, promotion, branding, author_brand, author_platform

I am constantly in search of ways to build a brand. I come across article after article that breaks down the brand-building process into easily executable steps. I'm sure I've even written an article or two that features similar steps. Although, I hope I never presented the steps as easy. Granted, it's not rocket science, but building a brand is anything but easy.

One element of the process is particularly hard. Hard might be the wrong word. It is laborious, but it is a labor of love. I am, of course, talking about the quality of writing. Building a brand around a poorly written book is nearly impossible. I can sense some of you screaming, "There are plenty of badly written books that become bestsellers!" I agree, but those are exceptions to the rule, not the rule itself. An author who pens a poorly written bestseller or bestselling series rarely repeats the feat.

If you want a brand that will stand the test of time, you have to invest significant time into developing your craft, and you don't just develop your craft by writing. You develop your craft by studying the masters, attending workshops, mentoring other writers. You develop your craft by challenging yourself to grow as an artist.

A brand built on good writing has the potential to be more than financially rewarding. It can be utterly fulfilling. It is worth the investment of your time, and it will make the rest of the steps to building an author brand just a tad easier.

-Richard Contributors/RidleyHeadshot_blog.jpg

Richard Ridley is an award winning author and paid CreateSpace contributor.

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The foundation of your brand

That one thing

929 Views 0 Comments Permalink Tags: self_publishing, authors, writing, branding, author_brand

Auditing your brand

Posted by CreateSpaceBlogger Oct 4, 2017


In a previous post, I discussed the importance of auditing in the business world. It's a practice conducted on a regular basis in order to gauge past performance and current levels of inventory. Essentially, it's used to get an accurate barometer of where a company stands financially. The results of the audit determine how the company will move forward in the most productive way possible.




As an author selling a product, you are a business, and you should be doing periodic audits just like companies with thousands of employees. Before, I encouraged you to audit your readers. Today, I'd like to explain the importance of auditing your brand. You want to take a deep, hard look at what brand practices have been hurting your business and what brand practices have been helping your business. It can be a comprehensive and difficult task, but here are few core metrics you will want to understand in order to build your brand.




1. Where: What platforms are you using to build your brand? Hopefully, you're using multiple platforms. If you aren't, consider changing your strategy and incorporate two or three to help grow your brand's community. If you are using multiple platforms, rank them. Determine which one results in the most engagement and make that your primary plank in your platform. Look into ways you can advertise on the site in a cost-effective way, and bring more people into your brand's community.




2. How: Are you sending a consistent message? Remember, an author brand shouldn't be all things to all people. It reflects your true self. The best way to stay on message is to do just that, be you. Don't try to be what the reader expects you to be.




3. How often: Are you active enough on social media? Are you posting a status update or tweeting only a couple of times a week or are you doing it multiple times a day? Like it or not, the more active you are, the better your opportunity to grow your brand and sell more books.




These are just three areas of your brand strategy you should examine first. The more you conduct these audits, the more nuanced they will get, but for now, set dates on your calendar to audit your brand four times a year to examine these three key elements of building your author brand.






-Richard Contributors/RidleyHeadshot_blog.jpg

Richard Ridley is an award winning author and paid CreateSpace contributor.

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Be Authentic to Build Your Brand


How to build a brand without even really trying





1,104 Views 1 Comments Permalink Tags: authors, promotions, brand, branding, author_brand, author_advice

The emotional brand

Posted by CreateSpaceBlogger Sep 20, 2017

You may be diligent about keeping your social media accounts active. You may be tweeting umpteen times a day. It's possible that you are updating your status consistently and frequently. Your fingers may even hurt from all the friend and follower engagement you're conducting from your laptop and/or smartphone. You may be putting in more than enough time to expect steady growth in your social media connections which will lead to the expansion of your brand, and ultimately, more book sales. But it's quite possible your activity isn't paying off either.

The question is why do some authors succeed at growing their brand through a rigorous social media strategy and others don't. The answer is usually those who succeed have discovered what truly sets an author brand apart from other brands. That one simple ingredient that so few authors use out of a fear of sharing too much or being too provocative. That one simple ingredient is emotion. An author brand is an emotional brand. It conveys a heart and soul that corporate brands normally steer clear of. You are an artist first and a commodity second.

If you are angry about something in the news or in your neighborhood, convey that anger. If you are embarrassed or happy or sad, share those emotions. You will connect with your community on a deeper level and that will lead to a growth of your brand. In short, give yourself the same kind of emotional depth that you give your characters in your book, and you will find that brand success if you've been looking for.

-Richard Contributors/RidleyHeadshot_blog.jpg

Richard Ridley is an award winning author and paid CreateSpace contributor.

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Evaluating your author brand

The one thing

1,574 Views 13 Comments Permalink Tags: marketing, social, brand, branding, social_media, author_marketing, author_brand

Your brand's obit

Posted by CreateSpaceBlogger Sep 7, 2017


I had once shared on this blog a character development strategy I had learned in college. It was simple and slightly morbid. Our creative writing instructor had us write obituaries for our characters. It turned out to be an incredibly effective tool for developing characters. You never understand someone, even a fictional someone, more completely than when you lay out their accomplishments in obituary form.

It occurred to me recently that you could do the same for your author brand. I know that sounds a bit nuts, but hear me out. Consistency is a key component to building a successful brand. That consistency comes from understanding what your brand is. As we've discussed previously, your author brand is a hybrid between a personal brand and a corporate brand and that can be a tough tightrope to walk. The more you understand what your brand stands for, the better you will be able to deliver that message with consistency.

In your mind, separate yourself from your brand image. Sit down with a notebook and a pen and scribble out a lifetime of achievements for your brand. Personify your brand. Pretend it once existed in the real world and lived a life like anyone else. Did your brand fight for injustice? Did your brand spend its life hobnobbing with celebrities and live a more external life?

Have fun with it. Nothing is out of bounds. Your brand can be as simple or as grandiose as you want it to be. Just make sure that it reflects a message that you can consistently deliver for the life of your author's brand.

-Richard Contributors/RidleyHeadshot_blog.jpg

Richard Ridley is an award winning author and paid CreateSpace contributor.

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Branding: The rule of consistency

Consistency: how to develop a living platform

1,307 Views 2 Comments Permalink Tags: writing, branding, character_development, author_brand

There is no doubt about it. More and more people have short... Oh, look a squirrel. Neat. Okay, back to what I was saying. People have very short attent... Cool, the squirrel's back, and he's eating something... ATTENTION SPANS! People have short attention spans because there are so many distractions in the world today. There's social media, videos, TV, streaming, gaming, etc. Capturing the attention of a reader online these days is extremely difficult, and there are more ways to drive them away than to attract them to your content.

What you don't want to do is give them huge chunks of material to digest once you do get them to notice you. Online content shouldn't be novel length. Your videos shouldn't be feature film length. You want to write short and concise blog articles, and your videos should ideally be around three minutes. Long form is not your friend online.

There are exceptions to the rule, and those exceptions usually are associated with established brands. TED Talks are an example of long form video that works because they've built their brand on that sort of thing. Long posts about politics get special consideration because they are normally about politicians with their own brands.

Chances are, you're not an exception. You aren't an established brand. You are building a brand. That being the case, keep your online content short, concise, and easily digestible. As your brand becomes more mainstream, then you can graduate to longer content.

-Richard Contributors/RidleyHeadshot_blog.jpg

Richard Ridley is an award winning author and paid CreateSpace contributor.

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Top five listicle about listicles

Social media best practices

1,076 Views 3 Comments Permalink Tags: self_publishing, marketing, promotion, writers, social, branding, social_media, author_brand, online_content


I found out recently that I know someone who works for a think tank, and I am so envious. I've always wanted to work for a think tank. As a writer of fiction, I'm pretty sure I'd love just mulling over the issues that do and will affect society. To top it off, they pay you to think.

But, sadly, I don't see a job at a think tank in my future, but that doesn't mean I can't do what I do best and create my own fictional think tank. I have problems that need to be solved. Namely, how am I going to sell more books?

While I'm having a little fun here, I actually don't see why you and a few of your writer friends couldn't form your own little think tank that spends a couple of hours each month discussing marketing and branding strategies for authors. I'm talking about meeting in person or over video chat and hammering out ideas and building a solid plan that could benefit all of you.


Call it a collective or open-based branding. You are all working together to help each other traverse the rugged terrain of marketing. As a group, putting you heads together and constructing a plan, you are more likely to see the pitfalls and potential successes before you implement them. Be open to all suggestions and be respectfully honest with your feedback. Every member of your think tank has a vested interested in the success of the strategies you develop.

Now, get out there and start your own think tank.


-Richard Contributors/RidleyHeadshot_blog.jpg

Richard Ridley is an award winning author and paid CreateSpace contributor.


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Brand Buddies


Form an Author Co-op





1,339 Views 1 Comments Permalink Tags: writing, author_marketing, author_brand, author_collaboration, author_tips, author_advice

Here is a rule of branding that isn't discussed enough. Don't turn on a dime.


Simple enough? Okay, see you next blog post...


What? You need more context? That's fair.


You can change your author brand, as long as you don't change it too quickly. A brand, after all, is built on consistency. You present the same style, the same tone, the same voice over and over again, creating a trust between yourself and your community. You become a source of stability in their lives, something they can rely on and take comfort in.


The problem is that an author brand is a personal brand in a commercial setting. Your brand is tied to...well, you. You are going to go through changes in life. Trust me, I am not the same person I was in my 20s. I see things very differently. Had I had access to social media back then (meaning, if it existed), I would have a hard time reconciling what I believe now with what I believed then.


To change a brand--personal or corporate--you must allow it to go through a transition period. A gradual change brings your community along with you. A sudden change leaves you, in most cases, having to start anew. Don't resist change. Embrace it, and let it come slowly. Except in the case of unexpected tragedies, that's usually how change works anyway.


The takeaway here is to not change for the sake of change. Don't hop on a trend that is in opposition to your current brand profile because you think it will help grow your community. Just keep consistently being you, even if being you means you change along the way.


-Richard Contributors/RidleyHeadshot_blog.jpg

Richard Ridley is an award winning author and paid CreateSpace contributor.

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Should Authors Ever Reinvent Their Brands?

Author Brand Success: Consistency without Stagnation

1,795 Views 1 Comments Permalink Tags: marketing, book_marketing, branding, author_marketing, author_brand, author_platform

I've scoured the internet for a clear explanation of the difference between marketing and branding. I've heard people use the terms interchangeably, and frankly, that's just wrong. They serve the same purpose, but they are two different tools serving that purpose. After reading, rejecting those explanations that made no sense, and accepting those that seemed logical, here is an explanation of branding:


  • ·        Branding is an image and message tied to a product. In the case of an author, this would include the genre identity, category (fiction or nonfiction), age group of readers, style of writing, personal causes, and frequent topics an author devotes his/her online time to. These and other image definers contribute to how the author is seen by the reader. Personal appearance can play a part if the author makes appearance integral to his/her brand identity.


Marketing is a tad more complicated. Here is a culmination of the explanations I found:


  • ·      Marketing is a multifaceted tool the author will use to draw people to his/her brand. It can be by utilizing social media to build relationships with readers. It can be via advertising to make the public aware of a book signing or launch date. It can be done via interviews online and offline. Essentially, it is how you make the public aware of your image and message.


Going by these two definitions, you can see how they serve the same utility but in very different ways. The two go together, but they are not the same thing.


-Richard Contributors/RidleyHeadshot_blog.jpg

Richard Ridley is an award winning author and paid CreateSpace contributor.



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You're not just an author, you're a brand

Raising your marketing game

2,125 Views 0 Comments Permalink Tags: marketing, promotion, book_marketing, branding, author_marketing, author_brand

Today's rule could essentially be summed up in the Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young song, "Teach Your Children." The song is a classic that encourages us to pass along our knowledge of life to all the generations without judgment or expectation of anything in return. I know it sounds kind of heavy for a branding strategy, but the more young writers you selflessly help along the way, the greater service you do for the community of writers and society as a whole. And, yes, even though you shouldn't expect a return on your investment of time and knowledge, you most likely will receive enormous returns in the form of loyal disciples of your brand.

So, I say to you, seasoned writer, teach aspiring authors well. Share your dream with them. Find opportunities to assist other writers in achieving their dreams. Give them constructive feedback on their manuscripts. Help them navigate the indie publishing world. Give them marketing and branding advice. You may even encourage them to pass along what they know to up-and-coming writers.

Being an author is being part of a community. We don't have competitors. We have fellow authors. By helping to strengthen the community, you are helping yourself in the most unselfish way possible. You can't go wrong with this strategy. I don't care where you are in your writing career. You have useful knowledge to share. You probably don't even have to dig that deep to find it.

Grow your brand by following the rule of coaching, and teach the writers well.

-Richard Contributors/RidleyHeadshot_blog.jpg

Richard Ridley is an award winning author and paid CreateSpace contributor.

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Bring Your Community Together through Writing

Your Brand is a Community

1,479 Views 1 Comments Permalink Tags: self_publishing, authors, marketing, promotion, writing, branding, author_brand


Today's branding rule is a simple one. Not that any of the rules have been particularly complicated, but this one is perhaps the easiest concept to grasp. You are an author, which means your brand is tied to your work. Otherwise it wouldn't be an author brand, it would be a personal brand.

The rule of productivity says the more books you have on the market, the bigger your brand becomes. That's it. As long as you do what you're supposed to do as an author--publish books--your brand has a greater likelihood of being discovered and growing.

Can you publish one book and establish yourself as a brand? It's been done, yes. Before Go Set a Watchman was published in 2015, Harper Lee was a well-established author after her one and only previous offering, To Kill a Mockingbird, was published in 1960. And I'm sure there are other examples too. Some may be recent inductees into the "overnight success" categories, but the truth is Harper Lee represents the exception to the rule. Such a situation is rare.

The rest of us must commit to writing and publishing as many books as we have in us as quickly as we can. The larger our catalogs of books available for sale to the public, the more opportunities we have of being discovered and solidifying our author brands. So, here&'s the shorthand version of the rule of productivity: Write. Publish. Grow your brand. Repeat. Write. get the point.


Richard Ridley is an award winning author and paid CreateSpace contributor.

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The Power of Multiple Titles


You Have More Than One Book Inside of You





1,334 Views 0 Comments Permalink Tags: marketing, selling, branding, author_brand, author_advice, author_identity


I often wonder what some of our legendary authors would do in today's publishing world when it comes to branding. I think we all have this notion that they would look down their noses at such pedestrian tactics--that they'd never stoop to marketing themselves, and I have to say, I disagree. I think they'd be branding machines.

Particularly Hemingway. I imagine that he just couldn't resist taking to Twitter or Facebook and firing off a comment about the day's events. He was a journalist, after all. He loved to comment on the news, especially war-related stories. I imagine he wouldn't be shy about using one of the most important branding tools used today in the world of social media. That is to say, I think he would be particularly adept at author engagement. If someone commented on one of his status updates or tweets, I like to think he'd respond and engage the reader. Granted, he would perhaps get into a verbal tussle or two with those who had dissenting opinions, but I also think he'd happily respond to those who were in agreement with him.

If you aren't engaging with your readers on social media, you are missing the opportunity to create dedicated fans--those who will see you as more than just some random author, but as someone they've made a connection with. They also become devoted members of your volunteer sales force. They will be more likely to spread the word about your book.

So, in conclusion, be like Hemingway (as I imagine him), and engage with your readers.

-Richard Contributors/RidleyHeadshot_blog.jpg

Richard Ridley is an award winning author and paid CreateSpace contributor.


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Word of mouth is still king


Community engagement prompts





992 Views 1 Comments Permalink Tags: marketing, social_media, author_marketing, author_brand, author_tips, author_platform
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