Having a solid brand identity when it comes to your book may seem a little ‘over the top’, however, it’s not as far off as you may think. Once the preserve of elite authors within the publishing world, having a clearly recognizable ‘footprint’ that stretches across social media, print, websites and of course books ensured that whenever a reader found them the message was consistent.
Having a consistent identity with advertising shows a reader a level of professionalism which builds confidence, now this is especially the case if your book is lucky enough to be released by a publisher, they will ensure that your book is widely marketed and that the materials to do so fit (and build) high expectations.
A professionally published book will have consistent advertising wherever it is being promoted, so if you go to the author’s Facebook page you will see that the banner and posts match that of their Twitter and Instagram pages too. You will also see that in some cases the author has had their own logo created and that this is used in other forms of contact, again, it shows that the author/publisher is taking care of the smallest of details.
Ultimately these small details (along with the bigger ones) build confidence in your product…which is of course your book.
Now some authors will hate to think of their beloved book as merely a ‘product’ and rightly so, however, unless you are publishing as just a vanity project then you will probably want to sell copies of it too, and this is where a change of mindset helps. When you understand that your book is competing in a highly saturated market then you can make plans to ensure that you do so on a level playing field (well, as level as your budget can make it that is, you may not have the advertising might of Penguin Books to be fair).
So taking into account the budget you do have, you can look towards creating a consistent brand for yourself as an author and for your book. The first elements to take care of will be the book cover design itself, you don’t have to spend thousands upon this but it DOES need to look professional, have no doubt, people WILL judge your book by its cover (whether you like it or not). If in any doubt, use a professional to create your cover.
Once you have a book cover design that you’re proud of, you should look towards creating your ‘brand’ (as an author and for the book), the first place to start should be your social media sites. Look at how many you are currently using and then you can start to create banners for use with each one, using the same consistent backgrounds and references within the designs will help.
When you are building your banners, here are the dimensions for four of the most popular:
Cover Banner – 828 x 464 pixels
Profile Picture – 360 x 360 pixels
Cover Banner – 1500 x 500 pixels
Profile Picture – 500 x 500 pixels
Cover Banner – 1080 x 608 pixels
Profile Picture – 250 x 250 pixels
Cover Banner – 1000 x 425 pixels
Profile Picture – 500 x 500 pixels
It also pays to ensure that your profile photo matches the image you wish to portray to your readers, a shot taken in a bar on the back of cell phone may not lead to the best perception of you, so ensure that your picture represents not only you but your image as an author.
The banners and profile image that you use within your social media channels should also be reflected upon your own website (if you’re using one), it is this consistency which elevates you above many other authors and leads to greater confidence by your potential readers.
Posters will also help for use in print (at launches and book fairs) and in digital form for posts on line, these should be consistent with your other banners and website, carrying on with your branding at every touch point. They are very easy to have printed for you and incredibly cost effective too, the choice of sizes from companies like Vistaprint is exceptional and the quality just as great.
So creating your own branding is far cheaper and easier to do as an indie author than you may have realized and there are plenty of companies out there who can help you, the key things to remember are to be professional and consistent, this will lead to a great brand for you as an author and help to sell more copies of your book.