Author branding is a full time business in the life of an author. Whether you are a traditionally published author or a self publishing indie author, you need to continuously market yourself to your reader market. Author branding can take on many different forms including having a professional website, an attractive Amazon author page and well engaging social media sites.
But today I wanted to look at an author’s main asset, their book, and decide if a single 50,000 word novel is better for author branding or whether five 10,000 word short reads covering the same story gives better exposure.
Let’s look at this question from the perspective of a reader. Going onto Amazon and discovering a new author is something most readers like to do. Yes they have their favourites but most readers like to expand their reading sphere by having new authors join it.
If a reader was to look at an author’s Amazon page and see just one single novel, they may think that author is a ‘oncer’ – it’s his or her only work. Readers like to be involved with authors who have a few books. They like to be immersed in a story and to see it continue into more books. They fall in love with characters and want to follow that character on their journey.
Single books, rightly or wrongly, give the impression that this it – there is no more to the story. Short reads on the other hand painted a totally different picture.
When a reader visits an author page that is displaying five book covers, it appears that the author is more established and has done more work. It is a visual thing, the facts may not sustain that, but readers buy with their eyes.
Here’s a quick summary video to give your reading eyes a rest
An author of a single book will create a few links about that book from different review sites, bloggers or media posts and interviews.
Short reads can create a similar number of links but now an author’s exposure could be five fold in the case I’m outlining here.
What would you prefer – one book with say 10 links or five short reads covering the same overall topic but now attracting 50 links?
Everybody loves a freebie. Readers investigating a new author will take advantage of the book sample to gain an insight into an author’s work. It’s free and doesn’t require a reader to give up their email address in order to receive a free book, one downside to a free giveaway..
But I’ve found that serious readers are willing to give an author their email address in order to get a free book or novella. It allows a reader to get to know the author, sample his/her work and if they crave more, they can invest their reading dollars into more books. Try before you buy scenario.
Savvy authors not only giveaway a free book to their readers. They also provide author insights into their writing lives, run competitions and other bonus chapters to keep their readers engaged for as long as possible.
Free books can definitely improve author branding.
Whether you take the single novel or short reads approach, author branding is a 24/7 business. If you want more exposure, create more links, build a larger reader group and earn as you write, short reads in my opinion win hands down!
What do you think? Let me know by leaving a comment below