Whether your first book is published by you, an independent publisher, or a hybrid or traditional publisher, your Author-Self pops into existence. Ready or not, you have an Author Identity. An internet search on how to develop your author identity or author brand yields hundreds of articles with advice on what to do. Confusing?
Here are six practical steps that you can do yourself at low or no cost to get you started.
- Author Email
Create an email address for your Author-self and use it for all your author communication. Consider using your first and last name and the word author. For example, firstname.lastname@example.org
- Amazon Author Page – a Built-in Website
Rather than creating or paying for a website, create your (free) Amazon Author Page. The Amazon Author Page gives you a built-in web page where readers can find you.
Amazon has an in-depth help article. https://authorcentral.amazon.com/gp/help?topicID=200620850#targetText=Once%20we%20verify%20with%20the,have%20a%20pen%20name%20listed.
Sign on to Goodreads and create your Author-Self profile. You may have to add your book to Goodreads, which is a good thing because then the information will be correct. Claim your book as the author. If you aren’t familiar with Goodreads, you may want to explore it in more depth later; but for now, when you set up your profile and claim your book, you’ve accomplished Step 3.
- Social Media
When you read the words, Target Your Readers, is your first thought: “How am I supposed to know who my readers are?” One purpose of social media for an author is to attract and engage with readers.
You probably already have a personal account on social media: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, Etsy, or others. Pick the one that you enjoy and create your author-self. Step away from the temptation to “market” with frequent Buy-My-Book posts or to pick a side in the latest controversy; instead, take advantage of this remarkably easy way to discover who your readers are.
- Business cards
Create your own business card with a minimum of your Author Name, the word “Author,” and your author email. You can print them with your printer on cardstock for business cards, or purchase them at a reasonable cost online. Either way is great.
- Leave home
Is there a writers’ association with monthly meetings nearby? Go. Does your local bookshop host authors who speak and sign books? Go. Does your library host authors who read from their works? Go. Is there a book conference with 50, 70, or 100 attending authors or a local art festival with three authors selling books? Go. Be ready to listen more than you talk and always have your business cards ready to hand out.
That’s it! Except for one more thing.
Buy an author or writer hat, coffee mug, or T-shirt. You’ve earned it!
Did you already complete steps 1 through 6? How did it go? What did you do next? Would you be interested in Author Identity Part 2?