We already spoke on more occasions about the importance of a clear Brand Identity, especially when it comes to up-selling.
Why Do You Need a Brand Identity?
In short, if a reader of yours likes one of your books, he should be able to recognize the others pretty easily.
This is something publishers use a lot, of course, to visually group books of the same series for instance. There are books, in every library, that you can buy without thinking too much because you recognize their style and you know it’s likely you’ll like them.
To recognize the style, though, all those books must have a visible, common thread. And what’s the thing you see first, in a book? That’s right, it’s the cover.
Build Your Own Brand Identity
Let’s suppose you just wrote a book and you are going to publish it. You are a writer, and as such you don’t think you’ll stop at the first book: others will come in the future, and you’ll want all of them to be recognizable by the readers of the first one.
This means that the right moment to think about your Brand Identity is not after a couple of book: it’s right in the beginning of your adventure as an author.
Of course that is something you could change in the future, but the effort will be definitely more.
As you did for the title, think about your writing style, the topic(s) you’ll address with that particular pen name, and so on.
Ask yourself: what do I want my Brand to say, about me/the series book?
Look at the examples above. Then look at the competition in your genre, find out what they did to be recognizable.
And once you have ideas (they may be even just mock-ups on paper), work on them! Try to create something that has a meaning, and if you have a friend that’s good with design… as him/her for help.
In my case, for instance, I had managed to create a Brand Identity by myself using my poor abilities with free image editing and creation tools like GIMP and Inkscape.
I had created my own book covers. I had created my own logo and used it in them, and in the website too.
But I wasn’t completely satisfied with it.
I liked the logo, but I could see it better on a t-shirt, than on a book cover. The design of the covers itself was not the best, and so I asked for help. A friend dedicated some time to my Brand Identity and she came up with this logo and this cover design.
This will lead the branding of my Max Carezza books from now on.
Notice the elements that creates my brand:
- The new logo, present in full version only in my website header, for the time being.
- The new logo, small version, used as website icon.
- The colour tonalities: I used black and white everywhere, so it’s easy for elements to stick out when I use colours.
- The new logo, small version, in the center-top of each of my covers, with a line separating it from my author’s name.
- Pastel colors, that *should* remind the design of the website.
- Drawings preferred to photos (Really… nobody is sick of seeing erotic books with 6-packs on the cover?).
- Cover structure:
- an image under the logo
- the title
- a subtitle
- “An Original Erotic Story” and the bottom.
The text in these elements may change, but the structure and font will stay the same across the brand.
So, my Brand Identity is there, and yet I don’t expect to have a real feedback about its efficiency soon. I will need to test and tweak it, once I have enough publications out there.
But this is my first step and I’m sure it’s one of the seeds I need, to Become an Author.