Author Branding 101

Every successful author has a brand. Do you? J.K. Rowling, John Grisham, and Steven King all have a brand. We all know these authors and their unique style. If someone asks you where to find a well-written fantasy novel, you won’t send them to John Grisham or the king of horror. 

Do you have an author brand?

Author branding is a crucial element in your marketing game, and if you are missing it, then you won’t find the same level of success. 

Why is Author Branding important?

Branding is about recognition. Think about it this way. If someone asks you where to get a cheap hamburger, where do you send them? McDonald’s. Why? It’s because McDonald’s is known as a place for cheap burgers. You don’t send them to a local steakhouse to find a cheap hamburger. Think about the following words; Amazon, Coca-cola, Nike, Kleenex. Each of those words generates an image in your mind. This instant recognition is what you want to create in the minds of your readers. 

Sometimes the brand will take over the product in the marketplace, and you see this example in Kleenex and Bandaid. Both of those are brand names that have become so prevalent that they have overtaken the product. No child asks for a medical adhesive strip when they scrape their knee. They ask for the brand, Bandaid. The same is said with a kleenex. Think about this. What if your author brand could become so defined that it overtook the market in your genre. How incredible would that be?

What is a brand?

A brand is everything your readers perceive you and your company to be. It’s shown in the fonts you use in your advertisement and the color schemes you use for your website. It includes images and logos and most importantly the overarching theme of your business. Don’t worry. I will use myself as an example.

As a writer, I started out writing on a whim. Whatever came to mind, I would write and struggle to get it published. After I finally succeeded in publishing my work, I found no one wanted to buy my unextraordinary book. There was nothing to set me or my book apart from the throngs of other writers. 

After I wrote the biography of an ex-gangster from Chicago, I completely rebranded myself as a true-crime writer. Since I was writing about a mafia-style gangster, I slowly adopted a mafioso-style look to my online presence. Then came the obvious branding tool, my fedora. Here’s the story behind the hat.

I had just published “Unorganized Crime” and was heading to a local bookstore for a book signing. On the way, I stopped and picked up Sidney (the ex-gangster), and he handed me a black fedora. 

“Here Sis wear this. You’ll look cute in it.”  

Those words would change my life and author branding forever. Shrugging my shoulders, I put on the hat. It was way too big and fell into my eyes all day. While at the event, I made a short three-minute video for Facebook, asking people to come out and see us. I thought nothing about the hat.

Two weeks later, I found myself at an author event at this tiny hole-in-the-wall library. I didn’t wear a hat. For the next two hours I had six people ask me where was my hat. It was then I realized the significance. I had accidentally created an author brand and knew I had better stick with it. Now the fedora is incorporated in all my logos and I always wear it in my videos. People look for it at events, and it has taken on a life of its own.

(To See more examples of my branding check out www.mytruecrimestories.com)

Think about your genre, and how can you create a brand that will set you apart from the crowd? Is there something as simple as a hat that can build your brand? Study the successful authors in your genre and see what they do. Do all of their pictures have a specific look about them? Do they always dress a certain way? What can you do to emulate them?

I have a lot of author friends who dress up as a character out of their books at their events. Does your website represent the fantasy world you are creating in your books? I like to think of my branding as a theme. The over-arching Mafioso style bleeds into every Facebook post and every video. Think about your genre and see if you can come up with a little something that will set you apart from the crowd. 

If you’d like more tips and tricks about the business of writing, check out Synova’s Simply Biz Facebook group and sign up for Synova’s Simply Biz Newsletter.


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Empowering Aspiring Writer’s Course:

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Five essential keys to writing your book

First, you must have a story to tell, and second, you have to have an audience. Without an audience, you will end up with a book that won’t sell. Too many authors get caught in the trap of writing for the art’s sake, but they don’t study the market to find out what the people want to read. While everyone should write something they’re interested in, you have to make a difficult decision. Are you going to write for yourself, or are you going to write for the market?

Next, your book needs a specific genre. So many authors say their writing can’t be categorized. It’s a common rookie mistake. If your book cannot be categorized, it can’t be sold. If you look up a book on Amazon or in a physical bookstore, it has a genre. It’s how all books are categorized and sold.

Books do not sprout wings and fly around the bookstore changing genres. To successfully sell your work, you must label it in a specific genre. The next issue ties into the genre. You must know the rules of your genre. Of course, some rules can be broken, but every genre has a basic set of guidelines that all books must follow. Make sure to research your genre and get a good feel of these guidelines before you publish your book.

The fifth item on this list would be in the form of a question. Do you have a complete book? Does your idea have enough information to fill an entire book? If your story isn’t complete in its narrative, then perhaps you can interview other people for nonfiction, or for fiction writers, maybe you should create more characters. Sometimes you have plenty of characters, but not enough conflict to fill out an entire story line.

When reading over your work, make sure the story is complete in itself. Even if the book is going to be part of a series, the reader needs a feeling of fulfillment. The story should be complete and could stand on its own if the reader doesn’t buy the next book.

These are five essential elements all writers need to look at before publishing their book. If you’d like more tips and tricks about the business of writing, check out Synova’s Simply Biz Facebook group and sign up for Synova’s Simply Biz Newsletter.


If you enjoy this content don’t forget to sign up for Synova’s Simply Biz Newsletter and get your copy of her Free Guide: Overcoming Writer’s Block.

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If you’d like even more help with your writing business, Synova has recently launched a course for aspiring writer’s.

Empowering Aspiring Writer’s:

This course will focus on helping aspiring writers develop their craft and show them how to build a business from their writing.

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What’s the Point?

Why are you wanting to write a book? What’s your objective? What is your goal for this project? These are some questions you need to address before you start writing your book. 

If you have a clear outcome in mind when you start, you will find the book is easier to write and will require fewer rewrites.

Here are a few examples of why people write books:

  • – To inspire others

To educate

To leave a legacy

To Generate Leads for your business

Make money

To entertain

Even if you’ve already started writing your book, stop and figure out your “WHY” before you go any further. 

#authorcoachingforbusyentrepreneurs #authorcoaching


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Writing An Award-Winning Book Title

A terrible title can destroy your book and keep you from reaching the world with your words. The title is like a reader’s first impression right behind the book cover. So, how do you come up with a title that will propel your book toward success? 

I have a simple strategy that I teach the writers taking my course. Today I will share it with you all. 

Step #1: Find the top five best-selling authors in your genre and study them. 

What were the author’s last three book titles? Look for keywords that seem to resonate with the readers. While searching through these fifteen books you will notice patterns that might fit with your book. Keep in mind to take note of both the title and the subtitle of each book. 

Step #2: KISS

Remember that old saying, “keep it simple sweetie?” I say to “Keep it Short Sweetie.” Short book titles with no more than 3-5 words seem to work the best. You can make up the difference using a subtitle if necessary. 

Step #3: Start a list of possible book titles

Create a list of possible titles and then compare them to the best selling titles of your targeted authors. How do they compare? Are they longer or shorter? Did you use some of the same keywords? 

Step #4: Test it

After you get your list down to two or three possible titles, send them out to a test group and see which title gets the best response. 

I know this sounds strange, but don’t forget to make sure your title truly resonates with your book’s topic and purpose. Sometimes in the race to find the perfect, compelling title authors forget that their title must convey a message to the reader first and foremost. 


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If you’d like even more help with your writing business, Synova has recently launched a course for aspiring writer’s.

Empowering Aspiring Writer’s:

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The Six Basic Human Needs and How They Can Help Your Writing


Motivational guru, Tony Robbins, has established the six basic human needs and how they relate to our behavior. They are certainty, variety, significance, connection, growth, and contribution. So, how do these human needs relate to your writing? 

Too many writers spend years creating their books only to find they won’t sell. It could be because of their unappealing book covers, or their lack of marketing skills, but sometimes there’s another, sneakier reason.

Flat, perfect characters don’t hold the reader’s attention. Psychology tells us that humans are attracted to people who are like themselves. No, there aren’t going to be identical people, but there needs to be something about the person that can be relatable. 

When a book’s character lacks depth, it’s hard for complicated humans to relate. No one is utterly beautiful, amazingly successful, and has no problems. Your characters shouldn’t live this way either.

Every human’s basic instinct is to gain pleasure and to avoid pain. Does your character behave this way? If not, maybe you should re-think your story. Now, I know what you’re thinking. I’m writing non-fiction, so this doesn’t apply to me. Wrong! It definitely applies to a non-fiction writer. If you are writing a biography, a memoir, or a self-help book, you need to dive into the reasons behind the actions of your main character. 

When I was writing the biography of an ex-gangster, I didn’t merely relate his activities in sequential order. I tried to dive in deeper and discover the reasoning behind his actions. Sidney did most of his criminal activities in an attempt to seek the pleasures of fast cars and fast women. Growing up in poverty, he wanted notoriety and significance. As a child, he noticed all the local mobsters had the respect and admiration he craved. 

So, let’s take each one of these human needs and dive in deeper.

#1. Certainty:

Everyone needs to feel certain that they will be able to avoid pain and gain pleasure. They want to feel a sense of security and find it comforting. If a person is poverty-stricken and has no hope of finding food, they may steal it to feed themselves and their children. They avoided the pain of starvation and gained the pleasure of feeding their children. They may even not eat anything. I know this is a simplistic example but think about your characters now. 

Is the need for certainty met in your character’s life? Yes or no? How does this affect his or her behavior? 

#2. Variety:

After all that jazz about certainty, humans also need variety. If everything was exactly the same every day, humans go stir crazy. Although we need certainty, we must also have a good dose of variety to spice things up a bit.

What variety do you provide in your storyline? How does this help your character? Remember, variety isn’t always a positive thing. Sometimes it can come in the form of a bad situation. 

#3. Significance:

Everyone needs to feel special and appreciated for their uniqueness and importance. Like the other five human needs, this can come in the form of a negative or a positive. Tony gives an example of a street kid mugging a citizen. That thug may have never had anything in his life. He probably felt insignificant whether he would admit it or not. But, at that moment, when he was holding the gun at the victim’s head, he was significant. He was all-powerful, and this filled a psychological need, although in a very negative way. 

How is your character getting this need fulfilled? Are they achieving it negatively or positively?

#4. Connection/Love:

Although we need to feel unique and significant, humans aren’t happy if they don’t also feel connected and loved by others. Again, humans can get this need fulfilled in good ways and bad. Why do battered women go back to their abusers? A lot of the time, it’s because they need to feel connected, and they don’t have the ability or mindset to find that connection elsewhere. 

How is your character connected to others? Do they feel isolated and alone? If so, how does that affect their behavior?

#5. Growth:

Every human grows physically, but unfortunately, it seems many don’t grow emotionally. This problem is the cause of much of the office politics, drama, and chaos in the workplace. Everyone must grow emotionally and physically. When reading a book, we expect the character to be a different version of themselves at the end of the book. Notice I said different, not better. There was a reason for it. While we want the heroes to grow and become better, we simultaneously want to see the antagonist deteriorate. Although sometimes, the antagonist is so likable, we find ourselves rooting for the bad guy. In this case, we hope he or she finds help and becomes better through the process. 

#6. Contribution:

Every human has a deep desire to leave his or her mark on the world. We want to be significant and make the world a better place. Parents want to leave a better world for their children. People who give back to their community find a deeper meaning to life and seem to have a purpose and drive. What is your character doing to give back? How is he or she contributing to the betterment of society? If he isn’t, how does this affect him? Is he bitter? Is she depressed? 

Conclusion:

When writing, dive deeper, and answer each of these questions for all of your characters. If you do, you will find your writing will have more depth. You will have happier readers and more book sales. 


If you enjoy this content don’t forget to sign up for Synova’s Simply Biz Newsletter and get your copy of her Free Guide: Overcoming Writer’s Block.

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If you’d like even more help with your writing business, Synova has recently launched a course for aspiring writer’s.

Empowering Aspiring Writer’s:

This course will focus on helping aspiring writers develop their craft and show them how to build a business from their writing.

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Why You need a writing coach

Why You Need A Writing Coach?

Sure you can write a book without any help, edit it, submit it, and get it published all by yourself. You don’t have to have a coach, a guide, or an accountability partner for this process, but I sure wish I had one when I started. 

What can a writing coach do for you?

  • Create a success plan for your career
  • Recommend launch strategies for your book
  • Act as an accountability partner through the writing process
  • Help with audience building, marketing, and website design
  • Mentorship programs for various aspects of the author business

Writing a book is a big job and shouldn’t be taken lightly. Although I teach people that you shouldn’t be intimidated by the process, on the other hand, you still need to take it seriously. 

I have been in the publishing industry for twelve years and have been writing professionally for even longer. Besides the years of on the job training, I have taken thousands of hours of seminars, classes, and workshops on the business of writing. Each year I read at least 100 books.

I will be the first one to tell you that no, you don’t have to have a coach to be a writer, but why not use my knowledge to give yourself a headstart in the industry?

Schedule your free 30-minute coaching session today.

https://calendly.com/synovaink/30min


If you enjoy this content don’t forget to sign up for Synova’s Simply Biz Newsletter and get your copy of her Free Guide: Overcoming Writer’s Block.

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If you’d like even more help with your writing business, Synova has recently launched a course for aspiring writer’s.

Empowering Aspiring Writer’s:

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What is a Story Arc?


Simply put, a story arc is the transformation of a character from one state to another. It’s the growth process of the hero, the empowerment of an underdog, or the digression of an antagonist. A single book has a small growth journey for the main character, but the best place to witness a story arc is in a long-running television series. To keep the viewers interested, these characters will transform over time. 

Watch any soap opera and you will see a great example of a story arc. You most likely won’t see a great storyline, but the arc is definitely there. I apologize to all of you daytime television lovers out there, but on the grand scheme of things, no book series would last twenty years by constantly adding more drama between such plastic and unrealistic characters. 

How many of your favorite characters started out as a bad guy, but throughout the series of events, he slowly transforms into a likable person? This is a good example of a story arc. 

All writers need to keep this basic arc in mind when writing fiction stories, or even nonfiction in some cases. If you are writing your life story, then this will be your journey to awareness. Ask yourself the following questions whether you are writing your life story or you’re writing fiction.

  1. What are the hero’s characteristics, circumstances, and values to begin with?
  2. What happens to the hero during this story and how does it change and mold the character?
  3. At the end of your book, how has the hero changed? 

When writing a series of books the story arc becomes more prevalent. You don’t want one character to grow tremendously in book one and then start over in book two. Start the growth journey from the character’s current position. 


If you enjoy this content don’t forget to sign up for Synova’s Simply Biz Newsletter and get your copy of her Free Guide: Overcoming Writer’s Block.

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If you’d like even more help with your writing business, Synova has recently launched a course for aspiring writer’s.

Empowering Aspiring Writer’s:

This course will focus on helping aspiring writers develop their craft and show them how to build a business from their writing.

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Dictation Demystified

Do you cringe when you hear the word “dictation?” There’s no need to be intimidated by the word or the process. When someone says the word “narrate,” does that set off alarm bells? I doubt it. There’s a really simple reason behind this example. 

“When you change the way you look at the world, the world you look at will change.” 

– Wayne Dyer

The perception around dictation is more intense for some people so they find themselves becoming intimidated by the concept. Instead, I suggest you look at it as narrating. 

Tips For Narrating (Dictating) Your Next Book:

  1. Outline your book first by making a list of topics you would like to cover. Then choose one topic to “talk” about. 
  2. Label this recording with the topic title. This will make it easier for you when you to to arrange your recordings into a readable book.
  3. Google Docs and MS Word both offer a talk-to-text option. This is a simple and free way to get your thoughts down on paper.
  4. **Do Not Watch The Screen As You Dictate!** The whole point of this exercise is to get your thoughts down, not to edit as you go. If you watch the screen, you will find yourself stumbling around in your speech and trying to edit as you go. Instead, hit record and start talking. Edit later!
  5. If you don’t want to use talk-to-text options you can record your story and send it to a transcriptionist to type it up for you. Again, don’t worry about editing here. 
  6. After all of this is said and done, now you can send it to an editor who will work on your punctuation, grammar and sentence syntax.

If you are struggling to try to find time to sit at the computer and write your book, then perhaps narration is the best option for you. I know it has made a drastic change in my writing projects. 


If you enjoy this content don’t forget to sign up for Synova’s Simply Biz Newsletter and get your copy of her Free Guide: Overcoming Writer’s Block.

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If you’d like even more help with your writing business, Synova has recently launched a course for aspiring writer’s.

Empowering Aspiring Writer’s:

This course will focus on helping aspiring writers develop their craft and show them how to build a business from their writing.

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5 Things Successful Writers Do Differently


#1 They Don’t Wait To Be Picked! 

Remember those days back in school when you weren’t the first person to be picked for a ball team? Do you really want to put yourself back into that situation? No! But, we do it all the time. As writers, don’t get into the trap of believing that you have to be “picked” by a traditional publisher to be a successful writer.

#2 Successful Writers Read

Study the most successful people in the world and you will find they are all committed to a lifelong study of business and personal development. Nowadays, you don’t even have to sit down to read a paperback book. I am constantly studying. While I’m washing dishes, I have my earbuds in listening to a seminar. While I’m driving I will be listening to an audiobook. You don’t have to wait until you have time to sit down with a cup of coffee to read and learn. The important thing to remember is to study. 

#3 They Control And the Let Go

I know that sounds odd, but here’s the deal. They control the only thing they really have the power to handle and that is their reactions and their mindset. They can’t control someone else’s behavior, but they control their own. They let go of everything else.

As a writer this an important trait to acquire. People are going to be rude to you when you release a book. Someone is going to leave an occasional nasty review on Amazon. While some people praise you others are operating out of narrow-minded jealousy. Let them go. Control your reactions to these people and let them go. 

#4 Forget Everyone Else and Focus on Themselves

Successful writers study the market trends, but they don’t fall into the trap of comparing their work to other writers. How can you compare apples and oranges? Every writer is working from their own ideals, mindsets, and beliefs. No two writers are alike, so don’t compare. Just focus on becoming a better writer today than you were yesterday. 

#5 They Don’t Let Fear Stop Them

Successful writers are just as afraid as you are. They have the same anxieties and shortcomings, the difference is they don’t let that stop them from sharing their work with the world. Be courageous and bold. Jump in and swim even when you are afraid and I’ll see you at the top!



If you enjoy this content don’t forget to sign up for Synova’s Simply Biz Newsletter and get your copy of her Free Guide: Overcoming Writer’s Block.

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If you’d like even more help with your writing business, Synova has recently launched a course for aspiring writer’s.

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Write a book for your business in 5 easy steps:

#1. Decide
Make the decision to follow through with the project

#2. Discover the truth
You can do this! Once you realize this you are good to go. You are more than capable of writing about a topic you love. Chances are, you already have. (Blogs, Videos, articles, brochures, website content, courses, etc.) You probably already have all the content for your book.

#3. Write, Type, or Jabber…daily!
Create a daily “writing” habit. I put writing in quotes because with all the tools available today, you don’t have to hand write a single sentence if you don’t want to. Most entrepreneurs actually dictate the entire book then send it off to an editor. The point is to work on the project daily.

#4. Outline
Outline the basic topics you want to cover and then write about each topic until you finish the list. Remember, you are just telling people about you and your business. Isn’t that what entrepreneurs love to do? Just chill out. Don’t think about a book like it’s a hard thing. You’re just chatting with clients.

#5. Set a deadline
Set a deadline to keep yourself accountable to finish the project.

#authorcoachingforentrepreneurs



If you enjoy this content don’t forget to sign up for Synova’s Simply Biz Newsletter and get your copy of her Free Guide: Overcoming Writer’s Block.

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If you’d like even more help with your writing business, Synova has recently launched a course for aspiring writer’s.

Empowering Aspiring Writer’s:

This course will focus on helping aspiring writers develop their craft and show them how to build a business from their writing.

For more information check out Synova’s store page HERE


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