Author Brands Are Important - Part 1
By Mackenzie Flohr
"A powerful author brand doesn't happen by accident, but by design."
- The Book Designer
When my publisher, BHC Press, began working on the research for the cover of The Rite of Wands in spring of 2016, they sent me a questionnaire to get an idea of what I was looking for and to assist them with their design. I had complete faith whatever concept(s) they came up with would be amazing. After all, they at just won a RONE Cover Award for Contemporary Design for their anthology - A Winter's Romance! I gave them one requirement - put my wand on the cover.
Back in late 2015, I had successfully completed half of what would later become the first novel in The Rite of Wands series. I wanted something to remember everything by, something that would forever remind me of my journey of becoming a published author. It brought me back to the first time I ever attended a Creation convention for one of my favorite movie trilogies - The Lord of The Rings. Members of the cast mentioned what they had "stolen" from the set to keep for themselves. That is the moment I realized what I really was after - the establishment of my brand.
What is a brand?
One has to admit as an indie author, there are multiple challenges on getting your book onto the market. You can't just publish a book and let it sit on Amazon and hope and pray it becomes a best seller overnight so you can quit your day job.
One of my author friends teased that someday I could find myself in the position like J.K. Rowling, who had recently sold a wooden chair she had sat in while typing Harry Potter for $394,000 at an auction. While it was cool to think about reality is that doesn't happen for most authors. There are millions of books now on the market, and it's becoming harder and harder to sell books. As a result, many books are never discovered, and authors are often forced to continue their outside of the home job in order to continue to afford the cost of editing, cover design, and marketing, instead of doing what they want to do - write!
That is where your brand comes in. Your brand is constantly evolving. It helps communicate to the world what makes YOU unique, what you represent, and what readers can expect from you.
So, what makes me unique? It's not me, my story, my background, or my personality. It's my wand, and the "magical" story behind it.
Stay tuned for part 2 coming next week for my presentation, and maybe even a special guest or two!
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