Branding for Nonconformists

Self Assessment in Author Branding

What are your values, and how fully are you living them?

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Photo by Noah Buscher on Unsplash

Exercise #1: Three Essential Traits

In that excellent podcast episode I mentioned last time, the hosts of Writing Excuses suggest we come up with three essential personality aspects, traits, or interests we are comfortable sharing publicly and that aren’t too directly related to any one of our books in particular. For herself, co-host Mary Robinette Kowal lists historical fantasy, mentor, and theater person. Here are mine:

1. stitching cozy things

2. kindness to animals

3. making impossible things feel possible

Whoa. That’s like 85% of my personality inside of eleven words! (I told my friend Dan about this exercise over dinner the other night — he is a librarian though not a writer himself — and for him we immediately came up with seltzer, cats, and church. Now you know him almost as well as I do.) As I see it, the practical result of this exercise is what comes most naturally (and is therefore “on brand”) to share about yourself on social media. It may also inform your personal style, so save this list for later.

Exercise #2: Guiding Principles

If you find the prospect of teasing out a concise list of principles completely overwhelming, start here: how would you ideally-yet-realistically like your readers and colleagues to describe you to a third party? What would they say you specifically care about?

Authoress: LIFE WITHOUT ENVY (“a self-help book that’s actually helpful”) and assorted fantasy novels. http://bit.ly/cometparty

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