The All Things Book Marketing podcast is a popular biweekly show featuring book marketing and publicity tips from the top voices in the publishing industry. Be sure to subscribe so you never miss a new episode!
Our guest on the podcast this month is the wonderful Stephanie Feger, owner and chief strategist of emPower PR Group. Stephanie speaks about what makes up a brand and how an author’s brand can be incorporated into their books and writing and vice versa. Learn about the importance of discoverability and consistency across all platforms and what to keep in mind as you expand your reach. Let’s get started.
First, Stephanie shares the truly unique journey that led her to book marketing. With over 15 years of experience in the marketing and communications field, Stephanie had a strong understanding of marketing but had not professionally worked with books. However, as a mother of three young children, she began to write personally as a cathartic process, never dreaming that her writing might one day turn into a book. A series of events including a layoff and an invitation to a bible study — where she would be connected with someone who would alter the course of her life — brought her to the point where she had an opportunity to publish her first book in 2018. Through the process of publishing her book, she (and others) realized the knack she had for book marketing and, from there, her business was born.
In particular, Stephanie credits her time working at a nonprofit for really driving home the point that rallying people around a cause is what’s most important. And, for an author, their book is that cause. One huge part of being able to do that is developing and understanding an author’s brand.
What is an author brand?
Stephanie shares that it’s important to understand that an author brand and a book brand are different. Many authors think that their book cover is the beginning and end of their brand, and that’s simply not true. Rather, an author brand is bigger — it really is about who the author is, and their book is a product of that.
Rather than thinking about a brand in terms of colors, a logo, a book cover, etc., Stephanie says that it’s important for authors to think about their brand in terms of an emotion, experience, and gut feeling. When people think of you, what do they think of? That’s a great place to begin when building your author brand. The split-second reaction that people have to you and your brand is going to determine whether they feel you are a good fit for what they need; for this reason, the more defined and deeply-rooted an author brand is, the better.
For example, Stephanie’s brand is relatable, conversational, doable. Stephanie knows that marketing can feel overwhelming, and she wants her brand to reflect possibility and openness. A brand look is brought in by communicating this overall brand feeling through copy, fonts, color palettes, photos, and more.
What are the differences between your book brand and author brand?
The main difference, Stephanie shares, is that your author brand will always remain consistent, while your book brand may change if you write more than one book. For this reason, when thinking of building your author brand, in addition to the above it’s important to focus on longevity.
Look at yourself as the glue of your brand — you bind all parts of your brand, including your books, together. Another way to look at it is that you are the umbrella and all of your projects fall underneath your brand. “You are bigger than your book,” Stephanie says.
How can your author brand be built into your book, and how can your book help to grow your individual brand?
Don’t forget what makes you you, Stephanie insists. People want to hear from a person, not a robot. Don’t be afraid to infuse your experiences, your personality, your feelings and unique thoughts into your book. By doing so, you will be joining your author brand with your book brand and keeping everything in alignment with your author voice.
Your true-to-you book will benefit your individual/author brand so much by serving as a “doorway” into who you are for readers and prospective clients (if you have a business). Stephanie adds, “I have found when authors write books and their brand is beautifully interwoven in it, if the reader is interested in taking action, the conversion window is very narrow.”
The bottom line is books are brilliant, low cost investments for people to determine who you are, how you make them feel, and how they may be able to work with you — or whatever action you hope for them to come away with.
Thank you to Stephanie for joining us for a fascinating and helpful conversation around branding, and for even more information, be sure to tune in to the full episode.
Stephanie Feger, owner and chief strategist of the emPower PR Group, is passionate about emPowering nonfiction writers, authors and authorpreneurs with laser-focused marketing strategies and tactics to help them write books that sell, promote their books to those who need and want them most, and build a meaningful business from a message that is emPowering. As an author of three books herself—including her newly released book, Make Your Author emPact—Stephanie merges her love for writing books and her skillset in marketing them, to help nonfiction authors make their author emPact. She doesn’t believe in movement without strategy, and always keeps strategy front and center. She has also seen how emPowered people emPower people. In fact, her business is built around it! Learn more at www.emPowerPRGroup.com and connect on LinkedIn, Instagram, Facebook, and YouTube @empowerprgroup.