You Are the Brand, Not Your Book

Brand is a word that marketing folks toss around easily but do you know what it means? Or how to define it in terms of your creative business? Let me break it down for you.

A brand is a product, business, or person with an identity and platform.

As an author or illustrator, YOU are the brand, not your book or books.

You are the one that stands for something, that has a mission and a purpose. Your books are simply an extension of your mission.

Let’s get into some examples to make it clear.

Here are authors and creators that are BRANDS. When you see their names, you know what they stand for and what their books will probably be about or like.

Author Brands That Are Easily Identifiable

  • Nikki Grimes
  • Aaron Becker
  • Oge Mora
  • Sandra Boynton
  • Dusti Bowling
  • Adam Gratz
  • Kelly Yang
  • Neil Gaiman
  • Raina Telgemeier

For each of the above creators, you can think of descriptive words that identify who they are and what they value.

You know that Nikki’s books will be lyrical and poetic and about Black characters.

Or that Kelly’s books are about social justice, literacy, and Chinese American characters.

Brands (LIKE YOU) Have a Mission and a Purpose

What is your mission statement? Why are you doing this?

If you’re like Sandra Boynton, you might say to delight babies and toddlers with fun and playful board books.

Brands Also Have an Audience

Your brand has an audience, the people who will read your books. Your buying audience might be parents of child ages 2 to 6. Or librarians of elementary schools.

Your reader audience might be preschoolers.

Who is your audience? Your buyers and your readers?

Jarrett Learner’s audience is teachers and librarians. He creates a lot of content for them.

Brands Have a Niche

What is your niche, or your main content or topic that you want to write or illustrate?

Maybe you are passionate about mindfulness or SEL or funny books?

Susan Hood writes mostly historical fiction — it’s her niche.

Do you have a niche? What is it?

Why Your Brand Matters

Once you know your Purpose, Audience, and Niche, you can better grow your brand platform!

It will guide what you do on social media, where you pitch your books, and the events you schedule.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *