When considering how to approach the topic of branding, be sure that you tread carefully. Remember, when you self-publish, you are essentially setting up a business. Whether you choose to publish through a subsidy press or if you decide to go 100% independent, you are still running a business. You are responsible for managing and promoting your written voice in some capacity, no matter the publishing path you choose. This is your time and money that is on the table, so take time to think about how branding is more than a label for your work. Branding is the most important element necessary for any business. When we shop, we are influenced by branding, whether we know it or not. We may look for quality and style, but branding is always affecting our decisions. From buying a vehicle to purchasing clothing, even to your weekly grocery trip, branding is present in a big way.

The business of publishing requires consideration of everything from –

  • Choosing a publishing company name for yourself
  • Filing sales and income taxes for books sold
  • Creating the door of credibility
  • Opening further opportunities
  • The possibility of branching off of a current business and/or setting up a completely new business

You must intentionally plan how all of this and more can tie together to become your total business presence, one that truly represents who you are and where you want to go – and to grow.

What is Branding?

  • Many authors that do not already have a business will think of branding after their book is published, but if you are thinking about publishing 100% independently (or subsidy or even vanity), consider branding first.
  • Remember that branding is how you represent your image to the world.
  • Your logo, colors, tag line, and book covers should all contribute to your brand.
  • Branding is the glue that holds together everything business-oriented that you do and will do in the future. Think of food companies that branch out into toys, t-shirts, books, and other products when they originally started out just making cereal.

My Personal Branding Tips:

  • Start with your favorite colors. Do you like calm colors like blues or greens? Are you sophisticated and prefer black, white, silver, and grey? Do you like neutrals with a splash of something bold like red? What fits your personality?
  • Start with a logo, photograph, object, or even an element to represent your company, your books, your brand.
  • Consider the psychology of color: how you look and feel effects how people “see” you.
  • Your brand should be something you will be happy with for a long time, so think big! You will see it everywhere and it represents who you are and what your company is all about.
  • Consider the feelings you want people to have when they see your books or marketing material.
  • Use your branding on everything you can: business cards, letterhead, envelopes, postcards, email announcements, your website, your blog, social media, signs on the side of your vehicle, bookmarks, labels – not just your book cover!

Remember, branding is not just a simple label you place on the back of your book. You get to decide how your written voice – your company – is presented to the world. You have options, so take the time and consideration to decide. You are a creative, growing, living being – make sure your choice of brand can make the journey with you. Remember that your book is not just some childhood fantasy or dream finally come true. It is a catalyst for you to go to amazing heights, and branding is your best friend!

Photo courtesy Shutterstock, Rawpixel

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Kristen Joy

Kristen Joy

Kristen Joy Laidig is the founder of The Book Ninja. She has authored over 40 books, started over 50 publishing companies, trained over 10,000 authors worldwide, has her black belt in karate, and eats way too much chocolate. She currently changes lives through her students… one published message at a time, manages her two retail stores Toy Box Gifts & Wonder® and Nerdvana Outpost in the heart of her newfound hometown, Chambersburg, PA, is in the start-up phase of at least three new businesses at any given time, and generally causes anyone reading this bio to be out of breath. On her “off” time (what’s that?) she brainstorms business ideas with her awesome husband, the great Public Domain Expert himself, Tony Laidig, and hangs out with her two ragdoll kitties. She’s even been known to sleep... occasionally.

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