Hi there! Duolit is on hiatus, but please feel free to explore our extensive archive of posts and our free Weekend Book Marketing Makeover. Thanks for visiting!

Author Branding in Action: A Matching Game

A couple of weeks ago, Shannon, my husband and I were browsing Barnes & Noble looking for fun children’s books for her niece and browsing in general. After staying away from the new release/bestseller section for the majority of our visit (hey, we ARE in a recession), we passed a table of featured books on our way out. One in particular caught my eye — with its bright colors, sketched imagery and bold type.

Without even looking at the author’s name, I said to Shannon, “Carl Hiaasen has a new book out?”

As we’re discussed previously, branding is all about consistency and building an entire platform — not just an image. Build that image effectively, however, and your readers will recognize and be drawn to it subconsciously.

To better illustrate how branding can tie together (or not) an author’s work, we’ve devised a little matching game. We’ve taken twenty book covers from well-known authors and removed their name from the cover — can you still tell who each cover belongs to?Note: You can click any cover below to enlarge it and launch a gallery of all images.Continue Reading

5 Key Elements of Author Branding

Think back to when you were a teenager, prowling the malls of the suburbs on a Saturday afternoon with your friends. Remember how you felt when you stepped into certain stores that carried the “it” fashion of the moment—Nike sneakers, Bongo jeans, Gap sweaters, Member’s Only jackets, etc. Do you recall that oh-so-powerful feeling of “Gotta Have It!” taking over? Why was that? What made those sweaters, jackets, shoes and jeans so different from the ones you could have purchased in any other store for a lot less money?

It’s the brand.

When you travel, do you have a hotel preference? In general, I prefer Hampton Inns to Holiday Inns, Holiday Inns to Sleep Inns and I’d rather sleep in my car than stay at a Motel 6—even if they will leave the light on for me. But why is that? Most hotel rooms are almost exactly the same—two beds, white sheets, TV, bathroom, and a door. Who cares what’s on the marquee out front if you got a good price, right? Wrong.

It’s the brand.

Corporations spend billions of dollars every year to make sure that you want to buy their brand over the competition’s product regardless of the price difference. It’s not just about the image, it’s about the feelings, attributes, awareness and expectations that you associate with that brand. Even among companies that have powerful branding, some are simply better in our minds than others.Continue Reading

I Registered My Domain: Now What?

Photo: D'Arcy Norman | Flickr

So, you’ve decided to give your author brand a boost by registering a domain name. Now what?

According to me, you have two options (well, three if you count “do nothing”): Forward your domain to a current site/page or sign up for web hosting.

1. Forwarding

Domain fowarding is the process of “pointing” your domain to another web page/site. For instance, if I have a domain called www.yourauthornamehere.com and a blog at yourauthornamehere.blogspot.com, I could set up the domain name to foward visitors to the blogspot address. This way, when someone types in yourauthornamehere.com, they’re taken to your blog.Continue Reading

Better Author Branding Through Domain Registration: Part Two

Yesterday, we talked about why authors should register a domain name and how to choose the perfect one. Today, we’re going to pick up where we left off and actually go through the registration process step-by-step using GoDaddy.

I thought a video walkthrough might be useful, so I recorded a quick screencast this morning detailing the steps:

If you don’t feel like watching the video (totally understandable) or would prefer to read a step-by-step guide, I’ll go through that now. Click any of the images on the right to enlarge.Continue Reading

Better Author Branding Through Domain Registration: Part One

There are over 88 million registered domains. And that’s just .com names.

Over 90,000 new ones are registered every day.

If you’re looking to have a long-term internet presence as an author, claim yours. If you haven’t — do it now.

The process can seem intimidating, but a lot of that is due to the fact that domain registration companies (like GoDaddy) don’t make a ton of money on domain registrations. Therefore, they try to sell you a bunch of stuff that you may or may not (usually may not) need during the checkout process. Keep your “eyes on the prize” (the “prize” being purchasing your chosen domain name), and the registration process is straightforward.Continue Reading