REPORTING #20BOOKSEDINBURGH – How do you build an author brand?

First of all, why should you build a brand? Aren’t authors all about writing books? Brands are for merchandise, aren’t they?

Well, no. Not these days.

Or perhaps a better way to look at it, is that authors (and our books) ARE merchandise, or at least, merchandisable.

In fact, taking it a step further, if you follow (and if you don’t, why not?) well-known authors, Kristine Kathryn Rusch, or her partner, Dean Wesley Smith, , we should all be considering licensing our products – from ideas, to worlds, to characters, and everything in between, for future merchandising that we control.

So today, the first step – branding, courtesy of Dakota Krout (if you missed it, read more about his phenomenal success and his advice in this earlier post.


Decide on your public face.

Pick a few things about you that you feel represent you as a person – eg. a colour, sense of humour, style of dress – and always use these in any communication, posts, press releases etc.

You can fine tune these things later, don’t be afraid of change, but if you haven’t already, start thinking about them NOW.


Have the same approach to everyone.

1.Do not criticize.
2.Give honest, sincere appreciation.
3.Become genuinely interested in other people.
4.The only way to get the best of an argument is to not have it.

Obviously, social media is a great place to interact with people, but remember

  • When you are socializing, you aren’t writing.
  • No one is amazing at all of it.
  • Pick a platform or three, work to maximize on there before expanding.

[Dakota had a really great tip about Facebook – if someone sends you a friend request but you don’t want to accept, don’t delete the request, just leave it there, then Facebook will turn them into followers and they will see all your posts. ]


Take care how you scale up

Be smart and stay on track – as a writer you gain the majority of your money in only one way: producing Content.
Hit the word mines!

(If you missed it, I covered what he had to say about Patreon in a previous post)

Once you get there, fans can be turned into SUPERFANS, who will offer to help you with things like social media (running your Facebook page, for example), and even keeping track of your reviews (if you don’t like reading them yourself) and bringing important points to your attention without you needing to take time out. It offers them aΒ  sense of being involved – something today’s readers adore.

And at that point, you really know you’ve cracked it!

SO that’s it from Dakota – if you have anything you would like to add, please go ahead: remember, indie authorship is all about sharing and supporting each other.




  1. Such good advice and especially about arguments. Specifically, politics. Nothing turns me off more than a writer lecturing on politics! Sigh.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Totally agree with you, Jacqui.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. A great post with some excellent advice.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I find I write these posts as much for me, as to share with everybody else. They help me to organise my thoughts (and notes) into something I can actually implement.
      Of course, I’m always happy if they help others as well πŸ˜€


      1. They definitely do help.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Thanks for sharing these tidbits with us Deb, I’m pretty much doing most of these things, yet I can’t figure out why I’m not yet famous? LOLOL πŸ™‚ xx P.S. I’m sharing this 20books stuff on my Friday writing tips. ❀

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I don’t understand it either πŸ˜‰
      And thanks for sharing – I still remember how much I appreciated all the info sharing when I was learning the ropes before publishing my first book, as I know you do.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Absolutely Deb. That’s why I like to pay it forward for others. πŸ™‚ x

        Liked by 1 person

  4. Wise words – thank you. Have shared on Twitter.
    I don’t repost politics, however,I do use my writer f/b to post some climate change issues, some petitions e.g. Indigenous, refugee, and water rights/misuse which is very pertinent in Australia, as well as on chronic pain (one of the areas I write about) which overlap with government policy. Any thoughts on how to effectively convey thoughts and actions without being viewed as just ‘political’ posts?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for the share, Suzanne. With a background in a small amount of journalism, I would suggest the answer to your query is to ensure posts offer useful information while offering balanced views without bias.


      1. Thank you πŸ™‚

        Liked by 1 person

  5. Excellent advice. So much to learn.


  6. Deb,just saw this in Bookdesigner’s weekly share. πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for the reblog πŸ˜€


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