Writers and the art of branding

Finding a publisher interested in committing their resources and time into editing, printing, and selling of their work is a great acheivement for a writer. However, publishers can only do so much to drum up publicity and find a market for a book. If an author wants his or her book to be successful, they have to learn the fine art of selling themselves.

The writer who can marshal his or her forces and promote their book is the difference between an unknown and a name. So, it is essential that writers take the time to think about how to connect their work to their audience. According to this New York Times peice on the marketing efforts of classic authors like Ernest Hemmingway and Virginia Woolf, it always has been.

There is an argument that not everyone is built to market themselves well. In particular, self-publishing, which requires a great deal of legwork without the aid of a traditional publishing house, may be more suited to "energetic extroverts." Something which most writers will admit that they are not.

Thankfully, even for the shy and introverted, the golden age of technology affords amazing opportunities never before available. Authors can think about creating a blog or website, and develop mailing lists. However, they should not expect instant results. Finding an audience takes time, and is an ongoing effort that requires research, planning and diligence. 

For starters, here are some non-traditional ways to market one's books.


  • I have heard this a lot, but how do l start? I self published my works. I have 3 works {2 novels & 1 play} which many commend locally. I need a wider audience. How do l become a known author?

    Posted by Gloria on May 06, 2011
  • Great article!. You might find Scott Kirsner’s book : Fans, Friends and Followers worth reading. The book talks about “How to build an audience and creative career in the digital age”. It has got some excellent case studies in it.

    You can view the preview copy here: http://dl.dropbox.com/u/775203/FFF-preview-edition.pdf

    Enjoy the rest of the day.

    Posted by karo akpokiere on June 09, 2011
  • Helpful advice.

    Posted by Nana Fredua-Agyeman on May 05, 2011
  • Agreed. One has to exploit the other new methods available out there to reach your audience or to build them up in the first place. One thing I would say is to build that into your plan right at the beginning. Don’t wait until the book is done until you start using methods like social media to then build an audience. Because it can take up to a year to build up an audience that is willing to listen to you. And only a percentage of those will actually buy your book if you can get it to them.

    Posted by Adamu Waziri- Bino and Fino on May 06, 2011

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