The Major Players:
Thubten Comerford, CEO of WePost Media.
David Wilk, Creative Management Partners
Tracee Gleichner, Founder and CEO of Literal Exposure
Joan Schulhafer, Publishing & Media Consultant
Joan: An author, at minimum, needs a website. It doesn’t have to be anything fancy, but it needs to look professional. A website is a landing zone for readers.
Tracy: Talks about the value of doing a blog tour.
Thubten: Amused everyone by saying he “takes shiny things away from authors so that they can write.”
Q: What are your thoughts on author branding?
David: Brand is the connection of your work to you by the reader. He acknowledges that the more money you spend, the bigger the branding you can achieve because you can afford to keep the push up over time. He thinks it is more important to get people’s attention initially than their money. If you create that connection with the consumer, you create the brand.
Thubten: Thinks the most important aspect of building brand is authenticity. If your characters move people emotionally, the readers will want to connect with you on a personal level. If you create a relationship with your readers, they will be passionate about your work. They will buy everything you write and recommend your work to others.
Q: If you write in different genres, do you need a brand for each genre?
Thubten: Have a LinkedIn profile that talks about all of your writing in one place. Have a Facebook author page about everything and a Facebook page for each genre.
David: If you cross a lot of different territory, your website is your social hub. You have to start there. Most readers do not cross over. Take this into account when creating your branding efforts. Publishers and bookstores do not connect author’s books in different genres. You must create this connection yourself.
Tracy: Does not think you need different pen names or brands for different genres.
Q: How do we get out the message that we are “real” authors versus the drek?
Thubten: If you have a bad book but good marketing, it won’t sell. The more present you are, the more discoverable you will be. If you’re not engaging, you’re not discoverable.
My Comment: I don’t agree that a bad book with good marketing won’t sell. Too many of us have bought one.