Friday, November 28, 2008

marketing and the author brand...or 8 links to stardom

Once again I’ve missed my regular blog day....sorry all you regular readers...however if you check out Fifi’s blog, she has a blog roll which shows who has updated lately...quite a handy little list and it must pull in more readers to her blog...great marketing Fifi....

While you are looking at her list, check out the neat link to her craft classes for kids...she has to make the studio pay...(and we’d all like her to keep the studio going... coz it’s a handy meeting space with everything you need, great parking at the door, big table to spread your gear around...)

Today following on from a comment made by Tim I am going to muse about Author Branding.

"Eh What?" I hear you splutter...

Yes...Remember when I raved about meeting Stacy...among the snippets I gleaned was the way The Class of 2k8 was set up and why.

In the States now the author is expected to get out and really push the book. Gone are the days when the publisher’s publicity department did that work. Because of this, authors are frequently at a loss as to how to go about their books P.R.

Canny Greg Fishbone of 2k7 decided that if a whole pile of debut authors got together and started telling the world in as many ways as possible about themselves as The (Brand) Class of 2k7, people would be more interested.

Voila! And so they were...

Debut authors were invited for 2k8 and beyond (Canny Greg having registered the brand names.)

The collective Brand gives these authors a voice and an identity which would otherwise be lost in the huge publishing world out there. All the authors commit money to the brand so that a Youtube video book trailer can be made of their book...and the videos all have the same feel (brand identity)

All the authors have websites and blogs and so does the Brand. The Brand profiles the release dates of each Partner Author with interviews... virtual parties... guest blogs...etc. Partner Authors do the same on their own website and blog. Suddenly you have 30 people out there promoting your book like crazy...instead of just you on your own.(quid pro quo)

Now it gets interesting...Because there are librarian conferences, reading conferences, literature conferences etc...who all need speakers, The Brand supplies Panels and Speakers to these conferences. They have the topic and collectively within the Brand can supply

The PB,YA, Mid Grade writers...on the topic, New Voices in publishing (coz they are all debut) or New Trends (coz they are all debut ) or whatever is interesting.

P J Hoover has been giving talks about code cracking and new alphabets etc all based on the research she did for her book, The Emerald Tablet at Lit. Conferences.

Stacy Nyikos has been coordinating the organisation of panellists for The Class of 2k8...that means finding out who’s available and getting them to an event. The authors meet before hand to make sure they are all on the right page with their presentations and to make sure that a local bookshop has ordered in copies of their books to sell....

The speaker’s fee they get means that sometimes they break even, sometimes they make a little, sometimes they lose out. But their individual profile and their brand profile is lifted....and don’t forget that the other Brand Partners are out there talking up the fact that...X, Y and Z will be speaking at ....

And that my friends solves the problem of ‘What brand am I when I write across the age groups?’ that children’s authors have with Author Branding...that genre fiction authors don’t have (they just change their name.)

Theresa Meyers of Blue Moon Communications has written a great article about Author Branding on seven steps you need to take to get an author’s a little taste.

At this point you might be scratching your head and asking, "Why do I need an author brand anyway? I'm small right now."

The point is you want to grow big, right?

You can take a long, painful, expensive trip to get to from point A to point B without a road map or make it there for far less expense, time and effort with a map. All I am trying to get you to do it creating your brand is build your map first.

Hats off to Greg Fishbone for a brilliant idea.

Hi to Tricia Hoover and Stacy Nyikos who probably have a google alert out on their names and that is a great idea. (Check out Stacy’s blog for her diary on her research trip to NZ, absolutely will be cheering her on...)

I’m off to think up some great brand names for our me or comment back if you have some brilliant thoughts on what to call the National Conference of New Zealand Children’s Writers and Illustrators 2009...(what a mouthful...)

pic is The constellation.. Kiwi....coz we need some local constellation names...courtesy of the Phoenix

Astronomical Society gurus...


PJ Hoover said...

Hi to Maureen and New Zealand! It's Thanksgiving over here, and I for one and thankful I know at least one amazing person across the globe!

Maureen said...

HI Tricia,
I made a private bet with myself that you would be first!!
You must check your alerts more frequently than me/I...(whatever only one coffee so far this morning)
What YOU are doing is obviously an inspiration to others(after all I'm writing about thats one..)
Have a great Thanksgiving! I overheard 3 expat americans arguing in the supermarket yesterday about the best stuffing for a turkey...?
When I glanced into the trolley They seemed to be planning a major party!!!

Melinda Szymanik said...

Love google alerts too. The CBCA used a line from a poem i think for their 2008 melbourne Conference (All the Wild Wonders) so next years Wellington one could be 'Down the back of the Chair' or similar :)

And hey I'm a bit confused about the solution to the author branding for children's authors writing across age groups problem. Whats the answer?


Maureen said...

HI Melinda,
Great conference name idea. Hmm Sorry If I wasn't clear in my post about author branding.
The Class of 2k8/2k7 is the brand name for a collection of children's authors who write across the age groups. So... a group of authors can get together and brand themselves in a similar way readergirlz or maybe the kiwiwrite4kids brand a group that you are currently in,Then it doesn't matter if you have a pb out this year and a YA out next year you are promoted in the brand...or you could strike out on your own like Theresa's article talks about and promote your last name Szymanik...a delighfully manik read for all ages....
It's all out there for thinking about...
what I like about the collective brand is that there are so many more people talking up your work...if anything it gets your name noticed more...and when people come across your work in a store they remember the name...because bobby's aunt hilda knows jane who knows the author and she's really good...
Group branding doesn't have to be all you do for marketing yourself it's just one string to the bow.
I muse about the power of the New Zealand brand...apparently Nicole Kidman was on letterman or some such big talk show last week in the states talking about the huge film Australia and all the interviewer wanted to talk about was her kiwi husband...and New Zealand.Now if kiwi kids writers could tap into that.....

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