Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Marketing your identity

Bet you didn't know you needed a little know-how about that part of your identity, did you? I didn't. Not for about a year, but I caught on quick.

I've learned branding your name is a key part of your identity.

You know which Nora I mean when I say her name. You know King, Grisham, and Koontz. But what if I said Katie MacAlister, or Galen Foley? You might if you read their particular genres. These are examples of what identity means when it comes to marketing.

Think fast food.  Think of what you see. Think fast period.

  • I'm loving it. (This one is too easy.)
  • Pepper in some fun.
  • 4th Meal
  • Save money. Live Better

Okay so the 4th isn't food. I'm checking to see if you're getting what I'm sharing.

You know these places, what they represent and what you expect.

Your name delivers the same "expectation".

Case in point. Margaret Weis is the creator of one of the best known fantasy series-multiple series-books I've ever run across: Dragonlance. Does she have others? You bet she does. BUT Dragonlance is and will always be the first thing that comes to my mind.

So now that we understand the "expectation" part of our identities, let's look at how we market ourselves.

First off, most authors have websites. These websites can be any combination of a base site, blog, or extraneous pages like Myspace, etc. They are pictorial imitations of their product.  You wouldn't catch bloody horror mock-ups on Galen Foley's pages. You won't find historical castles, ladies and lords on mine.

Marketing your name in the correct way produces the "expectation" to the type of book (product) you write. Marketing creates branding. Branding creates an image, your 'identity'. That identity can grow and morph into its own world (a la Nora). It wouldn't be beneficial for me to market historical information, British humor, or gothic imagery on my website, as my identity because I don't want my name to conjure those.

It's very important to learn what your identity is so you can begin marketing it to your benefit. You may not know it right away, and that's fine. For the first year or so, I didn't have an identity, but I had a name. And that's where I started. Eventually, your name will become your 'identity', fulfilling the expectation aspect of what you market.

  • Christine Feehan = Carpathian Dark Series, The Drake Sister Series
  • Judy Christenberry = Modern contemporary
  • Julie Garwood = Medival and Regency historicals

Any questions, just list them in the comments and I'll reply.

Thanks for stopping by!


AKelsey said...

Great blog Diana!

Elaine Cantrell said...

Excellent advice, Diana. Thanks.

Z(Aasiyah/Nolwynn) said...

Real good stuff, Diana! I'm sure everyone will grasp how to go about starting to market their name.

Keep it up!