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Episode 11 - Branding for Writers

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In This Episode

In today's episode we'll talk about:

  • Branding considerations for writers;
  • Copyright concerns when using book excerpts to market your books;
  • A free online tool that can help you identify brandable domain names recently coming back on the market.

Branding for Writers

Types of Branding

  1. Company branding -- using a business brand name as a sort of "umbrella" brand for all of your writing work. Benefits include an ability to grow without rebranding, and protecting your personal privacy.
  2. Personal branding -- focusing your branding efforts on your own name. The biggest benefits are in networking and building your own personal authority status.
  3. You don't always have to choose. -- You can maintain a company brand as well as your personal brand, such as having personal author brands for multiple pen names, but a larger company brand that you publish all of your books under.

What's Included in Branding?

  1. Company name / pen names
  2. Domain names
  3. Color schemes
  4. Logos
  5. Slogans or taglines
  6. Font choices
  7. Your core message
  8. Your tone or personality

The Key to Successful Branding

The key to a successful writer brand is consistency. Your readers or clients should have some idea of what they can expect from your next project, book, or blog post. Targeting entirely different markets (like writing for children while also writing erotica) would generally call for different branding for each market because expectations can't line up within both markets to a single brand.

Sharing Book Excerpts and Copyright Concerns

The Question

This episode's community question comes from Lee Tucker:

"On the recent podcast, you mentioned putting up excerpts from stories on an author's blog to help generate traffic. I've always been a bit concerned about doing this because of fear of someone else taking my idea or story. Are there [any] copyright protections or methods of ensuring that something like this doesn't happen?"

My Response

  1. Your work is copyrighted the moment it's created, so there's nothing special you need to do in this instance (especially if you're already registered your copyright because the book was already released).
  2. Ideas themselves cannot be copyrighted. Your ideas probably aren't "unique" anyway. Countless similar stories exist. So make the most of yours without being overly paranoid that someone is going to release something similar.
  3. Are there actual thieves out there who would rip you off? Of course. But you can track them and pursue them after the fact. There's very little you can do up front to prevent someone from stealing your work if that's what they really want to do. But you can have infringing material pulled offline when you find it.
  4. An excerpt shouldn't give anyone enough information to replicate your story anyway.
  5. Typing your story to your author brand early is actually great in this instance because it makes it more difficult for someone to pass it off as their own later.

Find Brandable "Dropped" Domain Names

One of my favorite tools for finding domain names for new projects is JustDropped.com. Conduct a keyword-based search there to find domains that others recently released back to the market.

Links from This Episode

Get Your Writing Questions Answered

The All Freelance Writing Podcast regularly features community Q&As. So I'd love to hear your questions about freelance writing, blogging, or indie publishing. If you'd like me to consider answering your question in a future podcast episode, you can contact me in three different ways:

  1. Email me at jenn@allfreelancewriting.com.  Include the phrase "Podcast Question" in your subject line to make sure the email is filtered correctly so I don't miss it.
  2. Submit your question through the contact form on this page.
  3. Leave me a voicemail by calling 484-575-1345. You'll be directly connected to voicemail. Please note that if you leave a question via voicemail, I might play that voicemail during a future episode if I'm able to answer your question.

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