The secret hack to create your author brand

Kate Stead
 | Updated April 10, 2024

The secret hack to create your author brand

Kate Stead
 | Updated April 10, 2024

Shhh - it's a secret.

Happy smiley faces underneath a big why and question mark

Start with Why...

Does the thought of an author brand make you go ergh! Too hard basket?

Or even too inauthentic? Not real or honest.

Yep – its not a popular consideration for a lot of authors.

What if I instead asked you why you started writing? Or what inspired your books? I bet that feels easier to answer.

This passion, this why is the heart of your author brand. This is the key to a personal and successful author pitch. There’s a great talk by Simon Sinek that explains the benefits of starting with why, far more persuasively than I ever could. He captures it brilliantly.

This is the long version of the talk – I say long, its 18 minutes. There are shorter versions you can find by searching, but I recommend watching this one.

Why am I comparing authors to Apple when talking about your author brand?

I feel fairly sure this is your next question. “I’m not a big innovative company, why do I need to attract the early adopters or early majority?”

Well here’s the thing. Those are and always will be the audience for indies. Unless you become incredibly successful, you will always have a smaller reach and awareness than say a Marian Keyes or Tim Ferriss, JK Rowling. Your audience will at first at least take a risk in buying your work.

And so you need to attract the risk takers. With passion. With Why.

An exercise in finding your why.

Now you know why you need your why its time to work it out.

Don’t run – its okay.

Imagine you are explaining what you do with your books to someone you know, someone supportive. Write down what you would say to them, explain the reasons why you started writing, how you feel when you are writing, how you want your readers to feel.

An example for you, how we created our author brand

Our children’s stories came from Chris trying to entertain our kids in the car. Our kids were super active when they were little, they were the ones climbing the park fence rather than playing quietly in the grass. And so he created these magical adventures, full of activity, animals, crazy outcomes from silly ideas and a kid at the centre of it all, having a great time.

We say:

Our books fire up the imaginations of kids who don’t sit still.

Even writing that brings them to life for me. It makes me smile, with a hint of rueful remembrance. And hopefully it does the same for parents and grandparents too.

The right branding brings your people to you, to your passion, to your why.

Build that connection and create your why message.

Need help with your author brand?

If you are finding this hard, please do contact us and we can help you. We love branding and helping authors work this out. Its a key part of our process to create a unique marketing plan for you - so do reach out via the contact form and let's chat about your book.

Kate Stead

Kate Stead is an indie author and publisher. She founded Old Mate Media, a boutique publishing company, in Sydney Australia, with her husband, award-winning author and editor Chris Stead. Focusing on creating beautiful and professional children’s and non-fiction books, she guides authors through the confusing landscape of the self-publishing industry and is passionate about helping indie authors first set and then achieve their publishing goals.

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