Brand Checklist

The brand that you establish for yourself as a writer is composed of many “moving parts.” Each of the individual elements of your author platform should directly contribute to the world’s overall view of you as a writer: who you are, what you write, what you want, and what you stand for. When all the elements of your outreach campaign coordinate to create a single, unified message, you’ll have an author brand that is memorable and effective for building fans and making sales.

Evaluate The Core Elements Of Your Author Brand

Check your writing. All the choices you make about marketing and promotion will stem from one thing: your writing. Your creative choices as you are writing your poems, stories, or essays offer a glimpse into your personality and intentions. Your author brand may become clear by looking at your:

  • Genre
  • Target audience
  • Voice/tone/mood/perspective

Check your cover art. Forget the old adage—readers will absolutely judge your book by its cover when they’re deciding what to buy. So what elements should you pay careful attention to when establishing your author brand through your cover artwork?

  • Design tropes of your given genre: What are the tried-and-true images that work in your genre?
  • Color scheme: What colors best convey the tone of your writing?
  • Font: Will you choose something loud and modern? Or quiet and traditional?
  • The emotional impact of your overall image: What is the emotional message your cover art needs to make in order to tell people what your writing is about?

Check your website. Your author website should be the primary source of online information for readers about you and your writing. Therefore, it should feature key elements for career-building: your author mailing list, your blog, links to your social media profiles, links to book retailers, etc. Here are the key branding elements to consider when creating your author website:

  • Design: Do your visual elements, like color scheme, font, and images, support the message of your author brand?
  • Functionality: What do you want your website to accomplish?
  • Transparency: Do you want your life to be an open book? Or are you more guarded? Your headshot, author bio, and social media integration will say a lot about you.

Check your social media sites. Smart social media activity builds a writer’s reputation. But because every author uses social media differently, your choices can say a lot about your author brand. The elements to consider are:

Check your author photo. Readers may see your author photo on your book retailer’s website, on your own author website, on your back cover, on your sales materials, on your publisher’s website…the list goes on. So your author photo plays a key role in supporting the goals of your writer brand. Consider:

  • The setting: Do you want your portrait to appear in a gritty urban setting or in a pretty park?
  • The lighting: Do you want lighting that’s dramatic? Or sunny and friendly?
  • Your expression: Do you want to appear serious? Or friendly and approachable?

And The Most Important Element Of Your Author Brand…

You! You are the wellspring of every element of your author brand. And if a feature of your branding doesn’t feel authentic, then we recommend swapping it for something that rings true to you. The best way to create a cohesive, effective writer brand is to make choices that are consistent with simply being yourself.

QUESTION: What do you believe is the most important element of an author’s brand?







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If you need help nailing your brand, you’ve come to the right place. The designers know what questions to ask, what imagery translates best to the screen, and how to make your original idea come to life on your webpage. Conventional or quirky, your idea is in good hands with the Web Design Relief team.

—Darlene Eliot, Writer
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Working with the Web Design Relief team was a total pleasure. They made the process easy, in-depth, professional, and lyrical. I wanted a site that leaned toward the bohemian and yet held an edge of minimalist sophistication. I couldn’t be happier with my very inviting and creative site! We should win awards with this one!

—King Grossman, Writer
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I cannot possibly detail how professional and helpful Web Design Relief has been in helping me launch my collection of short stories—there are just too many things they have done! They’ve been there for me all along the way, guiding me in developing my book and into the 21st century of web design and social media platforms. It could have been a bewildering journey; Instead it was one that was organized and so pleasant. Truly, Web Design Relief has blown me away by what they have created. The first time I watched my book trailer (who knew there were book trailers?), I cried. That team perfectly imaged what my book is about. I want to thank the whole team for their skill and creativity. I appreciate it so much.

—Cyndy Muscatel, Writer
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I’m pleased with the look of my website. The team at Web Design Relief listened to my suggestions and added a few of their own to make my website look exactly how I envisioned it. I would definitely recommend using Web Design Relief if you are looking to create a website.

—Marion Hill, Writer
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