We’re basically all salespeople, in some form or other. There’s always a pitch to be made – whether it is to sell a product, an idea, a service or a project. If you want to be successful, you need a compelling value proposition for your “brand” - to entice potential customers and expand your reach.
As authors, we have to be innovators. We need to figure out how to differentiate ourselves from the competition (which is plentiful!) and capitalize on these distinctions in order to be effective (no easy feat!).
Three key questions must be answered in order to establish and solidify our positioning to potential readers.
1. What do we write?
Do you write about topics that are unique? Trendy? Exciting? Dismal? Newsworthy? Are there established audiences for these subjects who are interested in consuming different views/perspectives/ideas? Is the subject matter widely appealing? Or does the subject have only a small niche group of interested readers? What sets your work apart from all others?
When I first started writing, I created a story that impassioned me. The only problem was, my original manuscript didn’t resonate with my targeted readers. Major roadblock! I’ve since changed gears. My advice is to first figure out who your readers are, find elements of a potential storyline that will interest them and then map out a strategy for creating your book, weaving in those elements. I know it’s disheartening to go down a path, only to find out your manuscript doesn’t meet the expectations or desires of your targeted readers. It’s better to take a step back and ask questions before starting that first chapter. Passion projects don’t always have the intended impact we want but early feedback can help guide us through the process of creating something we are just as excited about sharing with the masses.
2. How do we write?
Do you use special techniques to craft a manuscript? Does the writing entail a lot of research to satisfy a thirst for knowledge about a particular topic? What is your general style? Conversational? Informative? Snarky? Humorous? How do readers typically respond to your style? Is your style appealing to the masses?
This is really important as well because it will contribute to your brand. You may be somewhat of a comedian… incorporate elements of comedy in your writing to help it stand out from the rest. Leverage your personality while writing. It’s yet another impactful way for readers to get to know you. A lot of authors incorporate signature writing styles because that is another differentiating factor that makes readers pick up one book over another. And differentiation is critical.
3. Why do we write?
Herein lies the key. Why do you take precious time out of your days to write? Why is your subject matter special enough that it should demand attention? Why does your story need to be told? What is the perceived benefit of your work in the eyes of potential readers? What’s in it for them?
Every time you write something, ask yourself… what makes this different and better than everything else out there? You’re spending an inordinate amount of time writing, editing, re-writing, perfecting that manuscript. At the end of the day, who is going to care, besides you? And why should they care?
Figure that out and you’re definitely ahead of the game. Then use that differentiator to your advantage and it becomes the hook for why readers should buy your book.
Answer all these questions and you’ll set the foundation for your author brand. I know, it sounds easy in theory. In reality, it requires a tremendous amount of time and research. I’ve barely scratched the surface on this myself and there is always new information to uncover and apply to my process.
Get to know Kristen Luciani
Her website: http://kristenluciani.com/
Her newest release
Mia Bradshaw realized long ago that falling in love is a harbinger of pain. As a single mom working for one of the most prestigious venture capital firms in the country, she doesn’t have time for serious emotional entanglements. Her sort-of–friend boy is de-pendable, respectful and…okay, fine, maybe a little lukewarm but whatever! Who ever said there was anything wrong with being…vanilla? It’s safe, low-risk and not fraught with conflict and heart wrenching disappointment.
Chris Camden is one of the most eligible bachelors in northern California. A successful entrepreneur with a hot car and a panty-dropping grin doesn’t need to do much to keep his bed warm at night. His smoldering hazel-eyed gaze makes women melt at his feet. No strings, no conditions, no questions - just the way he likes it. Why should he settle for just one when there are so many sizzling alternatives begging for a spin?
A coveted opportunity to partner with Chris’s company stirs up emotions that threaten everything Mia’s been so careful to protect and control. The guy with more lines than a crowded supermarket before a snowstorm can singe her insides with the slightest acci-dental touch, proof that she needs to steer clear.
But reality hurls a very unexpected curve ball that can change Mia’s life in a heartbeat. And sometimes…the perception of safety is relative.