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Tuesday Tips: Author Branding 102

Author Branding 102: Branding vs Platform
by Poppy Dennison

All the world’s a stage, and all the men and women merely players

You may be wondering why I’m starting a post on Branding vs. Platform with a quote from Shakespeare’s As You Like It. Well, the way I see it, Shakespeare had it right. The world is a stage, or platform, in an author’s case.

Author Branding Basics 102 Shakespeare

In my last post, we talked about the definition of branding. The important points were creating a unique name and image and creating a consistent theme. In this case, Shakespeare is the brand. You know what you’re going to get when you go to a Shakespeare play, don’t you? Lots of Wherefore art thous and people killing their father’s. (Shakespeare fans don’t hate me. I know there’s a lot more to him than that, but I’m supposed to keep this short and sweet!)

So, what if you went to see a Shakespeare play, bought the tickets and put on your fancy clothes, only to show up and see Hairspray instead. Now, I happen to love Hairspray, but if I’ve bought a ticket to see Shakespeare, that’s what I want to see. Shakespeare has a specific brand. Hairspray is not that brand. With me so far?

Author Branding Basics 102 Hairspray

Now, the difference between a brand and a platform, is how Shakespeare is promoted. Where are they going to offer those tickets to the Shakespeare play? Who is going to be talking about them? Who will want to know that the play is going? Who will be excited about it?

That’s the platform. The where, when, hows, and all those other fun words of how the word is spread—or how everyone knows about our Shakespeare brand. Shakespeare has a pretty good one, if you ask me. We’re still talking about him 500 years later.

As authors, we have to establish our brand—what we’re known for or want to be known for—before we start talking about it. We have to know who we are and what we have to offer before we actually start offering it up! And the cool thing is, Shakespeare didn’t write only one type of story, did he? He had comedies and tragedies and poetry.

We can have all of those things too—and hopefully still be talked about half a millennium later—if we take the time to create a brand that establishes all of those features. As Shakespeare said: To Thine Own Self Be True.

So what does your author platform say about you and your brand? Are you a mash-up of Shakespeare and Hairspray, or is your brand clear and concise? Are you consistent? Take a look at some of the authors you consider “rock stars”. How does their platform promote their brand? Who do you consider to be “social media savvy”?

A sassy southern lady, Poppy Dennison developed an obsession with things that go bump in the night in her early years after a barn door flew off its hinges and nearly squashed her. Convinced it was a ghost trying to get her attention, she started looking for other strange and mysterious happenings around her. Not satisfied with what she found, Poppy has traveled to Greece, Malaysia and England to find inspiration for the burly bears and silver foxes that melt her butter. Her love of paranormal continues to flourish nearly thirty years later, and she writes steamy love stories about the very things that used to keep her up all night. If her childhood ghost is lucky, maybe one day she’ll give him his own happily ever after.

You can find out more about Poppy’s books on her websiteFacebookTwitter, or Goodreads.

Published in Book Marketing Branding Writing Tips


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