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Author Development – Which Comes First: The Brand or the Book?

Submitted by on January 31, 2011 – 4:29 pmNo Comment

If you’re a first time author, most likely you’re faced with the opportunity of developing your brand (i.e. what you want to be known for, your pen name, positioning yourself as an expert in a crowded landscape, etc.) as well as, the task of actually writing your book.

During our travels as PR consultants, we encounter this question routinely. Sometimes, authors write the book first and then after deciding their positioning based on competition, consumer need, and market demand, they need to go back and rewrite or edit. Too many authors write their book first without having the platform or credibility to market books to consumers or a strategy to do so. This takes them back to the drawing board. They need to establish their brand

Most recently, a client saw the need for their market and was undoubtedly a ‘specialist’ in their field and wrote a book accordingly. However, after consultation, we identified that the client’s market and ‘brand’ could and should be extended across a greater reach and therefore, the book should be written to encompass more than one audience group, requiring the author to go back and incorporate chapters for the additional audience groups.

Many times though, you can actually develop your brand and create the book at the same time.

Our solution to the problem for our author was to assess current media coverage on the topic and to position the client as a resident expert in their field, while developing the book material and all the complimenting parts.  As the campaign takes new shape, we anticipate results helping both causes: the overarching goal to sell books and gain media and public exposure.

What has been your experience?  Tell us about your book idea and we will give you some input on best practices.