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Book Branding and Author Branding are important aspects of marketing your books. Author branding includes not a single book or series, but the entire range of your written library (or books you intend to write). Author branding does not have to be as specific or even unchanging as you grow, but it should encompass the overall genre and feel of your books. With book branding, you’ll be able to immediately convey Story and what readers can expect inside. This should include a clear and genre-specific cover design, like-minded promos, and a synopsis or tagline along the same lines.
You need to figure out what your book is selling before you can market it like a pro.
Below are some examples of book branding, thanks to the lovely authors of the We Write Fantasy blog.
Moonpies & Magic by R.K. Ryals
Above are images from an upcoming fantasy from R.K. Ryals, a book whose main character is a bit of a wandering soul. She’s got a great tagline that includes those words, and the images vary between their link to the carnival (see the font in image 1), a mysterious stranger (image 2), the book’s casual, non-lavish feel (image 3), and plain old magic (image 4). Each of these teasers promise on what the book will deliver, and the cover art is clearly in the fantasy/romance genre. My personal favorite of these are the first two: dark, rich colors, and taglines or quotes that make their purpose clear.
King of Ash and Bone by Melissa Wright
King of Ash and Bone is a magical apocalypse story. I’ve had great fun creating promos for this book, because it’s all fire, and storms, and broken worlds. Between the title and cover image, I’d hoped to convey these things: apocalypse and magic. In case anyone missed that, the book’s taglines are: Magic. Monsters. Mayhem. and Their survival depends on the mercy of monsters. I hope that tells the reader a little bit about what’s inside and what’s at stake. Book two will focus more on a where the monsters come from, so there will be imagery of those creatures and a gateway between realms.
Craving Beauty by Jennifer Silverwood
Jennifer’s Wylder Tales series is a dark Beauty and the Beast retelling. As you can see, her promos are clear in their imagery and she does a great job of pulling eerie quotes. My favorite aspect of Jennifer’s branding is her series’ online world: World of Wylder Tales. Fans of the series can read more about the books, find fan art, share teasers, and immerse themselves in her work. And honestly, it’s just plain beautiful.
And, Silver Hollow (2012 Edition):
Each of these series have their own feel, and Silver Hollow is dreamy, and lovely, and an entirely different sort of fantasy than the first.
Author branding is a little less cut and dry. While your book should fit neatly into one or two genres, your library of works can be far more varied. Try to choose a feel that is professional, but still conveys the majority of your works. For instance, if most of your books are some form of romance, it’s okay to brand with that look and still write the occasional thriller. While you don’t have to keep yourself in a single genre, it’s good to let readers know what to expect. Many authors write separate genres with pen names, or some form of their author name (initials instead of entirely changing it up). Remember when you’re marketing for each book to keep that “feel” about it, but for your websites and online presence, your brand can be easily split into different but complementary looks with the use of a single tab.
Below are some examples of author brands, and what they’re trying to convey.
Jennifer writes fantasy and romance, as well as a little sci-fi. Her logos and banners are a good guide for readers, because the font choices and coloring makes her appear approachable, professional, and within any of the genres she’s looking to market to.
Sara C. Roethle
I feel like Sara’s banner speaks for itself. The fantasyscape in shades of blue would have sold this on its own, but adding in the decoration, the bits of snow like magic, and her side job as a unicorn just seal the deal.
My author branding has yet to be tied together with a single logo, but the books in my series all have one thing in common: identifiable text on the author name, similar placement, and similar font across each series. Even though each book is different (epic fantasy, paranormal romance, and urban fantasy), there’s an easy to spot similarity across the board, including on the promo texts.
Here are a few other great examples of fantasy author logos, which really give you an idea of what to expect:
Watch for posts coming next month on Stock Photography, and more!