Did you know you’re already an author brand?

Are you an author brand?

The minute you publish to Twitter, write your first blog post, or call yourself a writer on Facebook–you’ve started to establish your author brand. As soon as you layer your online identity with posts, pictures and anecdotes they craft a persona in the minds of readers and visitors that you can never fully shake. Your brand should be fluid across your social media sites, website and author bio showing your writing style, genre choice, and personal flair. However, the most difficult thing in marketing is not building a brand (though it’s a close second) but changing people’s opinions about a brand identity that they already know. And repositioning a brand can only come from a place of authenticity.

So how is brand positioning important to writers?

Once you’ve finished your manuscript and decided what your brand is–i.e. what makes you unique–you start to think about how your author brand would position itself with a partner: an agent. This agent already has a brand–the type of authors they represent, their representation style, their reputation with the deals they’ve done–and your best chance at success is pairing yourself with an agent whose brand umbrella you fit under.

Just like a publisher has a brand and their imprints fit snuggly, but uniquely, within it, agents manage their authors based on the brand of their agency and what fits within the areas of what they represent. An agent only takes authors on that they a) want to work with for a career and b) think they can sell, two things that are defined by their existing brand and for which information is available. Continue reading Did you know you’re already an author brand?

Ask the Agent: Your Questions Answered! Part IV

Question from Renee:
I sent a query letter into an agent that looked fine on my screen but when I looked to see what it looked like it was all scrunched together. Are agents forgiving of computer glitches?

Subjective question, but in all honesty these are things you should be checking before you send them to agents. You should email your query to yourself, your partner, your friends–whoever will look at it!–to see how it looks in email format. To me, format does make an impression, but it’s not the end of the world.

Question from Jackie:
Continue reading Ask the Agent: Your Questions Answered! Part IV

Quick Tip: Referrals

Quick Tip: Nothing gets me more excited about reading then referrals from writers or editors that understand my interests. Already curated and through one hoop I’m always eager to wade into these. It’s like the VIP slush pile. If you are in writing groups or BETA critique groups etc. try to network to find connections through other writers to agents.

Write High-Stakes Tension: Are you too close to your characters?

Are you too close to your characters?

You’ve engendered, given traits, and brought your characters to life on the page. It’s not surprising that writers find themselves attached to their characters and are afraid of putting them into complicated situations.

If you’ve created complex and compelling enough characters they will falter and they will hit obstacles. You’re writing a book not a description of the type of friend you’d like.

Think of the most memorable characters in fiction. Jay Gatsby. Elizabeth Bennett. Holden Caulfield. Lisbeth Salander. None of them are perfect. Perfect characters are 2D and forgettable. Continue reading Write High-Stakes Tension: Are you too close to your characters?