Branding. The one word that drives almost every author crazy. One of my very first posts on The Neophyte Author was about branding, “Building My Brand (and yours)”. I didn’t know what I was doing then and I’m not claiming that I’ve got the answer now–there’s a reason this blog is called The Neophyte Author. One thing that I realized was after establishing a brand you want to make sure that what you’ve established as your brand is actually being recognized in other people’s mind.
I was going to do that evaluation when my one year anniversary came, but since it blew right past me in December I decided to let the sleeping dog lie. Actually, I didn’t want to have to deal with the idea of rebranding if I wasn’t successful. However, if when you’re brand isn’t an instant hit rebranding isn’t the first step for me or you. After a review of Born at Dawn was published on USA Today I realized it’s a fine time for some reflection for me and for you.
A brand needs time to be developed before you can decide it doesn’t work. Take Coca-Cola for example, during it’s first year nine servings of were sold per day. Doesn’t sound like the start to a brand who’s logo was trademarked in 1888 is still recognizable today and is probably responsible for several thousand cavities.
Are You a Brand (only in your head or in other people’s eyes)?
What is your catchphrase, your one liner, your slogan? What is it that you do in one sentence. I write fiction for the renewed mind.
- This line should adequately reflect your product, your purpose/mission, and who your audience is.
Check the break down
Writing Fiction for the Renewed Mind
What do I do: I write made up stories (Writing Fiction)
Purpose: Entertain and Edify (Fiction and Renewed Mind)
For Whom: Christians. Will non Christians like it? I hope so, but my intended audience are those who are already Born Again. (For the Renewed Mind a reference to Romans 12:2)
Are You and Your Brand Synonymous?
Are you who you say you are? Check. In today’s social media driven world we’re all only one Google search away from, what is done in the dark being revealed and what was said in a corner being shouted from a mountaintop.
If you’re not who say you are you better get right. This is particularly true if you are a Christian author. What we do requires a level of transparency, consistency, and commitment that other genres don’t require. People do not expect J.K Rowling to be a wizard or that James Patterson has committed any of the crimes that fuel his legal thrillers. However, when you proclaim the name of Christ there is an expectancy that you are what you are selling and promoting. If you’re speaking life you need to full of it and people should be able to recognize that.
Who are you and what are the markers of your brand?
Personally, I’ve known for a long time that I’ve got a way of capturing the grit or the pulp of life in words. During grad school my peers would say I’m good with the vernacular. I was offended at first, but then I realized that my brand of writing is gritty, grimy, and for the everyday person. Yesterday that was confirmed by Michlle Monkou of USA Today who said that, ” Gritty, inspirational, and powerful mark Lockley’s brand of fiction.” The grit is me and the inspiration and power have come from God’s redeeming and transforming power. While God makes all things new He is able to use what we were to influence those He wants to reach and touch. Consider a couple of the authors of the Bible:
Luke the physician–a doctor. Someone good at describing things and who also has the skill to put things in laymen’s terms is the author of two very spellbinding books of the Bible–his own epistle and Acts.
Paul–formerly known as Saul who had a penchant for letters before His conversion. When he was Saul he used his love of letters to persecute Christians and when he gave himself to Christ the Lord used that same passion and letter writing ability to pen a majority or New Testament. He did need a little rebranding, but the Lord took him through that process.
We’re able to look at these men and recognize their brand and distinguish their writing from other books of the Bible. Now what about you–does anyone recognize the marker’s of your brand without you telling them? Are you a brand? Have you established of the basic tenets of branding to test the water? Regardless, of the answer let’s remember Coca-Cola, let’s remember that only one hundred and twenty were assembled in the Upper Room and look at how many have received the Spirit of Christ since then. This is only the beginning and you can always begin again.
Post your work, an excerpt, a link to your work or some type of ad you use to promote your work/brand in the comments and let’s assess your brand.