Branding and Marketing: With Patti Jefferson

by Exsanguine Hart

How do you sell your book without actually ‘selling’ your book? Branding and marketing (BAM) are both words that strike fear into the hearts of writers for this exact reason. Patti Jefferson, author of 365 Bright Ideas for Marketing Your Indie Books, joined us in April to share her approach to both essential skills. She told us that as an author, our audience consists of both the buyers and consumers of our book. If you write picture books, for example, your consumers are young children, but your buyers are most likely their parents. Knowing your audience will help you choose where to focus your marketing.

It’s never too early to establish an author platform. This includes getting a professional headshot, upping your social media presence, being consistently active on your social media channels, having a good website, and building an email contact list. Patti also reinforced what we learned in February’s social media workshop: make sure your branding is consistent across all your platforms, including details like your username and colour scheme. This brought us to the next point: brand yourself, not your book. If you decide to change genres or start a new series, branding yourself as an author will help you retain your readership. The domain name for your website should be your author name, not your book title.

For in-person events (whenever those will be ever allowed again), Patti advised working with local businesses that appeal to your targeted audience or choosing a location that ties into a location associated with your book’s theme or topic. For example, if your story has several scenes at a hockey rink, that’s where you could assemble your target audience for a launch party. You should also consider investing in marketing swag, such as bookmarks and business cards, to hand out to people you meet when you’re out and about. Finally, Patti suggested making sure you always have a few copies of your books with you wherever you go. Sales can happen in the most unexpected places, don’t lose an opportunity!

Find Patti on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram @PBJauthor

Upcoming events:

Diving Deep into POV with Kim McDougall May 27, 7:00 pm – 9:00 pm (Free for members.)

The Bookshelf – August 21 to 22

York Writers Conference 2021 – October 22 to 23

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