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230 Posts tagged with the branding tag
2

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

 

 

 

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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

 

 

 

 

943 Views 2 Comments Permalink Tags: book_marketing, branding, author_brand, author_branding, book_branding
3

Twenty seventeen is behind us, and it's time to build your brand in 2018. Here are three strategies to make your brand bigger and better in the coming year.


1. Pick a lane. I know I've encouraged you to spread yourself around on as many social media platforms as you can manage, but 2018 is the time to switch gears. Pick one social media site to spend a large majority of your time. Make one site yours. Treat it like your home and build your community with confidence.


2. Make it your mission to cultivate influencers in your genre. Influencers have large followings, and they boost book sales as well as boost your own community's numbers. Tag them in posts. Private message them to let them know when you blog about them. And, yes, find reasons to blog about them. I'm not suggesting you heap artificial praise upon them. I'm suggesting you honor their status as influencer and get on their good side.


3. Twenty eighteen will be no different than 2017 in one aspect. The content you post has to be share-worthy in order to be useful. You're a writer, a creative person, creating share-worthy content is not beyond your grasp. It is very much in your wheelhouse. It's what you do.


In a lot of ways, the list looks familiar to last year's. Technologies will no doubt change how we use social media, but the methodology will always remain pretty much the same. Build a following on a platform. Interact and build relationships with influencers, and content is and always will be king.  


-Richard

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


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You are the brand not your book

Your brand's obit

1,203 Views 3 Comments Permalink Tags: self_publishing, authors, writing, branding
2

 

It's time to explore building your brand outside of the boundless arena of the virtual world and look at how you can build your brand in the real world. And the best way to do that is using a tool that most people dread, public speaking. Here are three ways to help you improve your public speaking skills.


1. Toastmasters: You've no doubt heard about this organization. There is a nominal fee to join, so it's not free. You will be both a speaker and listener as you practice the art of public speaking and help other members develop their skills as public speakers. The criticism is constructive and meant to help you grow. It is a well-known organization for a reason. It works.


2. Acting Classes: I know. I know. You didn't become an author to advance your career as an actor. Acting may be something that doesn't interest you in the least or it may even terrify you beyond belief. But the point of joining an acting class isn't to start your journey to winning an Oscar. It's for you to get comfortable with "performing." Giving a speech or doing a reading is just that, it's a performance. An acting class can help you own the podium and make your appearance memorable.


3. Improv Classes: Again, I know. Doing improv is most likely not your fondest desire. But thinking on your feet is a crucial tool as a public speaker. Not everything is going to go as planned, so being able to respond gracefully and seamlessly with humor is a key component to giving a successful speech or reading. As the Boy Scouts say, always be prepared. In this case, preparation deals with handling the unexpected.


Public speaking isn't a natural fit for most people. The only real way to succeed at public speaking is to practice public speaking. Doing so in a group with other motivated learners is the best way to master it and overcome your fear.


-Richard

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


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Offline brand building

How to scare readers

668 Views 2 Comments Permalink Tags: authors, marketing, writers, promotions, public_speaking, branding
3

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

 

 

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

 

 

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Reverse Journaling for Your Brand

Evaluating Your Author Brand

753 Views 3 Comments Permalink Tags: writing, branding, author_marketing, author_brand, brand_identity
0

 

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

 

 

 

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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 www.mariamurnane.com.

 

 

 

 

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Tips for Promoting Your Book on Twitter

 

Twitter Challenge: 21 Days, 21 Prompts

 

 

 

 

720 Views 0 Comments Permalink Tags: authors, promotion, promotions, branding, social_media, author_brand
0

Sharing

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

 

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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

 

 

 

 

427 Views 0 Comments Permalink Tags: marketing, promotion, branding, author_brand, author_platform
1

 

We have established that an author brand is not a corporate brand and it isn't quite a personal brand. It's a hybrid. You are selling a product and that product is tied to your brand, but the public has certain expectations when it comes to author brands that they wouldn't accept in a corporate brand. They expect authors to be much more candid than corporations, one might even say they expect author brands to show more emotions than corporate brands. Don't get me wrong, corporate brands do have an emotional identity, but it's usually a safe emotional identity. Author brands are given more leeway to be more expressive.


Do you know your emotional identity, and does your emotional identity match your genre? Before you answer that question, remember that I constantly preach that your author brand should be nothing more than a reflection of who you really are. Don't manufacture an online persona to match what you think you readers expect from you. For example, if you write horror novels, don't feel pressured to post macabre thoughts and creepy poetry to convince your readers that you are your genre. Be yourself.


But, your emotional identity is tied to more than how you express yourself online. It's also tied to what you share. Horror book and movie reviews, horror-themed convention and book fair news, and Halloween events: these are all horror-themed shares that will help establish your emotional identity without having to fake a "haunting" persona. The same strategy can be used for any genre and subgenre. Yes, be expressive, much more so than a corporate brand, but don't fake it. Be true to yourself.


If you've never asked yourself if your brand's emotional identity matches your genre, it's time to do so. 

 

-Richard

 

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

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You are the brand not your book

 

Building your author brand

 

 

 

 

777 Views 1 Comments Permalink Tags: writers, genre, branding, brand_identity, author_advice
0

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

https://createspacecommunity.s3.amazonaws.com/Resources 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

776 Views 0 Comments Permalink Tags: self_publishing, authors, writing, branding, author_brand
3

Genre cultures

Posted by CreateSpaceBlogger Oct 18, 2017

 

Genres are funny things. They don't just describe and categorize a book. Genres reveal a lot about their readers, especially devoted readers. Much like a region of the country may have a different culture from another region, genres have their own cultures. It's not only a fascinating component of a genre. It's actually a good thing from the point of view of a marketer.


As someone who has a book in a specific genre, you may be well aware of the cultural aspects of that genre. You may even be deeply influenced by that culture. That's great. You not only know where to find your readers, you know how to talk to them without committing a genre faux pas. If you are not familiar with your genre's culture, my advice is to start studying. True fans of a genre gravitate toward authenticity. When they believe you're an authentic member of their genre tribe, they will be a powerful volunteer sales force for you.


You want to know the benchmark literary pieces in your genre. You want to know the literary masters of those works. In fact, knowing this information isn't enough. You want to have an opinion on the great works in your genre. Read them. Study them. Talk confidently about them. Once you develop a reputation as a connoisseur of your genre, your social media community will be filled with folks who admire your knowledge and trust your opinion. You will have a legion of fellow genre-ites who will happily tell their friends and followers about you, growing your brand in the process.


-Richard

 

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

 

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Connect with Your Volunteer Sales Force

 

How to Manage Your Volunteer Sales Force

 

 

 

 

1,191 Views 3 Comments Permalink Tags: self-publishing, readers, publishing, promotions, branding, author_advice
3

Your author manifesto

Posted by CreateSpaceBlogger Oct 11, 2017

If you've lost your way, it is time to take a stand. It is time to take ownership, to dive in head first, and shout out what you believe with passion and vigor...Well, don't shout it. Write it down.


Speaking as an author, I know how hard it is to build a brand and sell books. In a word, it can be daunting. You can get frustrated, even disheartened along the way when things aren't going as well as you imagined they would. This can lead to a lack of enthusiasm and focus. Your branding efforts will falter, and you may even be tempted to walk away from your dream.


Don't. Sit down and write your author manifesto. Turn that disappointment into passion. Why did you write a novel? What do you want readers to get out of books? Are you a storyteller that just wants to get characters from point A to point B or is there subtle commentary on the state of the world in your work? Write everything that writing means to you. Remind yourself why you devoted time and passion to writing your book. Feel that passion again.


You can do this privately or publicly. I leave that aspect of the manifesto to you, but be aware, if you choose to go public, you are inviting others to comment. That can be a vulnerable position. It's not necessarily a bad thing, but it can be a little nerve-racking.


Find that burning desire you once had to write your book again. Write your author's manifesto. 


-Richard


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


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Why did you write your story?

Quashing self-doubt



1,166 Views 3 Comments Permalink Tags: author, publishing, writing, draft, craft, branding
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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

 

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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

 

 

 

 

931 Views 0 Comments Permalink Tags: authors, promotions, brand, branding, author_brand, author_advice
7

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


https://createspacecommunity.s3.amazonaws.com/Resources 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



1,181 Views 7 Comments Permalink Tags: marketing, social, brand, branding, social_media, author_marketing, author_brand
1

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


https://createspacecommunity.s3.amazonaws.com/Resources 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

1,127 Views 1 Comments Permalink Tags: writing, branding, character_development, author_brand
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This may surprise you, but you are not in the business of building a brand for your book. That's not to say that branding isn't part of your job description as an author in today's publishing world. Like it or not, branding is crucial to selling books.


Your book clearly has brand elements. The cover is a branding tool. The genre helps determine the brand. Your writing style is part of the book's brand. The branding of a book is definitely part of your responsibilities, but it's not the most important. What could be more important? Building and establishing your author brand.


We have discussed numerous ways to build an author brand on this blog for years now, and the internet is full of pointers on how to build an author brand. You need only do an internet search for "How to build an author brand," and you'll have volumes upon volumes of information at your fingertips.


My suggestion is to study author branding like you are trying to earn your master's degree on the topic. Study it until you move from learning about the topic to being an expert on the topic. Develop your own personalized strategy. Create your own author branding philosophy. You should even write a short (or long) essay on the topic so you know that you can articulate your ideas on author branding to other authors or groups of authors. Be the knowledge you need to succeed.


You are the brand, not your book.


-Richard

https://createspacecommunity.s3.amazonaws.com/Resources Contributors/RidleyHeadshot_blog.jpg

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


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The foundation of your brand

How to build a brand without even really trying

1,323 Views 0 Comments Permalink Tags: authors, marketing, writing, branding, author_branding
0

Brands to avoid

Posted by CreateSpaceBlogger Aug 23, 2017

Here are three brands you should avoid modeling as you set out to build your author brand.


1. A Contrived Brand: Essentially, you're trying too hard to be a brand. At the risk of sounding like a new-age guru, you're not being your authentic self. You're presenting yourself in a way that you think is appealing to your readers, and your readers can feel the phony persona through their computer screens and mobile phone displays. Relax. Be yourself. Don't force a brand. Author brands are built over time, post after post, interaction after interaction.


2. The Whiny Brand: Oh woe is me.  I can't catch a break. I try so hard. Readers don't want to invest in an author who is desperate. Readers want to invest in an author whose talent speaks for itself. Don't let your bad days seep into your brand building efforts. I'm not saying you have to be up and positive all the time. Be angry. Be down. Be contemplative. Be all the things human beings are, but above all, be confident.


3. The Vengeful Brand: If you get a bad review, let it go. Don't rally the troops and have them exact revenge on the reviewer. That's petty, and it lacks a certain amount of humility people like to see in their authors. Don't take bad or good reviews to heart. They are opinions and nothing more. Whatever you do, don't let reviews shape your author brand.


A successful author brand is nothing more than a personal brand with a little more juice. Never lose sight of the fact that you are trying to sell books, but also never lose sight of who you really are.


-Richard

https://createspacecommunity.s3.amazonaws.com/Resources Contributors/RidleyHeadshot_blog.jpg

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


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What makes you similar to other author brands?

Uniting Author Brands

1,420 Views 0 Comments Permalink Tags: self_publishing, authors, marketing, writing, branding, brand_awareness
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