What’s in a Name?

What’s in a name? That which we call a rose
by any other name would smell as sweet.

This line from Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet works well for flowers, but not so much for author names, especially when it comes to book marketing!

ImageTake for example, The Cuckoo’s Calling, a crime fiction novel by Robert Galbraith, released April 2013. After it was revealed on July 14, 2013 that the book was written by J.K. Rowling under the pseudonym “Robert Galbraith”, the book surged from 4,709th to the 1st best-selling novel on Amazon. Rowling says she used a pseudonym for her newest release because, “It has been wonderful to publish without hype or expectation and pure pleasure to get feedback under a different name”. Clearly, when it comes to a reader’s book selection, the author’s name matters!

Like it or not, those of us hoping to turn our writing dreams into reality have to consciously build name brandingSmlrecognition for ourselves. One way to do this is to think about our “branding“. A brand is different than a platform. A platform is what we do to communicate our brand. Branding is what people expect when they hear our name attached to a book. Even those of us churning out our first novels need to ask ourselves the basic branding question: “What kind of an author image do I want to create for myself?”
velcroTheresa Meyers of Blue Moon Communications describes an author’s brand as “emotional Velcro”. She explains that emotional Velcro is achieved when readers love a certain writer’s stories and are moved by them. “This in turn leads readers to believe that they have formed a relationship of some type with that author and understand him or her. Because of this emotional attachment, they are willing to purchase a book written by this author simply because her name is on it.” How can our branding create this emotional attachment?
First, branding should create an image of an author and a product that is of high quality, and provides that that little “something special” that no one else can provide. Another part of our branding is the attitude that shines through in our platform development. Can readers tell that we’re willing to put in the hard work it takes to create and communicate our brand? This includes hammering out a brand statement, creating multiple, interconnected social media contact points such as a webpage, blog, Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest accounts, as well as personalized contact with readers through interviews, speaking engagements, book signings, and teaching.
We may not have the name J.K. Rowling plastered on the front of our books, but the author name that does appear should create its own fragrant scent, inviting the reader to sit down and breathe in the adventure with us.
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Categories: authors, book marketing, books, brand, brand statement, branding, Cuckoo's Calling, J.K. Rowling, platform, Romeo and Juliet, social media | 1 Comment

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One thought on “What’s in a Name?

  1. Very informative Marie. I like the idea of “emotional velcro”

    Like

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ACFW - DFW CHAPTER a.k.a. DFW Ready Writers

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Letters to Noah

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Under His Wings

"Nothing happens unless first a dream." Carl Sandburg

Cathleen Armstrong

"Nothing happens unless first a dream." Carl Sandburg

A Writer's Diary

Author, Educator, Consultant

ACFW - DFW CHAPTER a.k.a. DFW Ready Writers

"Nothing happens unless first a dream." Carl Sandburg

ACFW SFBayArea

Northern California Chapter of American Christian Fiction Writers

Letters to Noah

Spoken words are fleeting, but written words last beyond a lifetime.

Sontag Writing Dreams

"Nothing happens unless first a dream." Carl Sandburg

marsha ottum owen

I make Children's Books

Under His Wings

"Nothing happens unless first a dream." Carl Sandburg

Cathleen Armstrong

"Nothing happens unless first a dream." Carl Sandburg

A Writer's Diary

Author, Educator, Consultant

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