Thursday, August 29, 2013

A Self-Publishing Journey: On Titles, Branding, and Making Everything Stand Out

Wowzers, people. There's fun stuff happening here. (Cover concepts anyone? Anyone?). But more on that in a later post...

I've finally settled on the title. And it's *anti-climactic drum roll, please*


Why? Well, primarily because it's the only title I liked that didn't have twins, quadruplets, grossuplets already in the market.

(Let's just take a moment to *SQUEEEEEEEEE!" and *Flail* because in a few weeks there's going to be a real, actual book on the market that I wrote and that's the title and... HELLO!?)


Anyway, I've already had a couple of people question that decision:

"Why not just call it what you love, Aimee? People will still find it if they're looking for it."

"But...but...that's different to what you've been calling it all along. People won't remember it!"

Here's the thing (and it's a Thing that applies to more than just the title)...

I've said it once, and I'll say it again: to most readers a book is a commodity. It's a product they choose to buy, or not. It (hopefully) will start as nothing more than a title, and maybe an enthusiastic premise description from a friend. Interested, but dubious reader then jumps on Amazon, or B & N and types in.... what was that title again? Breaking? Breakable? Break-something....

So they type in Break. Or Breakable or. Break + Amy Slater (because everyone spells my name wrong).

A title that is unique has a FAR greater chance of being identified in the list that results on search engines than one that already has six products selling. Because which product do you think the search engine's going to pull up first? When they have multiple matching results, they get listed by popularity. And a brand new book is rarely going to compete with one that's been selling for six months.

It would be easy to title and market to my network. I've got over 600 followers here, which crosses over with over 3,600 genuine followers on Twitter. Taking into account the potential bleed from people I know who will be kind enough to promote to their network, plus my actual, in-real-life people contacts and I've got a sphere of influence that maybe reaches 4,500 people.

Do you know how many of those are statistically likely to buy my book? Something like 50-80 of them. And while 50-80 sales would be nice, frankly, I'm hoping for a lot more. But that means my story has to be good enough to encourage those 50-80 to tell others that it's good. And most especially, the product has to be easily identifiable for people outside my sphere of influence who've never come across me or my book before. Because that's where the REAL sales are.

And that means my title, my cover, my blurb, any advertising I do, all need to speak to someone with ZERO prior connection to me. That's an objective audience, my friends. And they don't give two hoots for my artistic inspiration or feelings. They just want to be entertained.

Which then, hopefully, leads into the other side of this issue: When strangers come across me and my book, they're coming in contact with my overall branding and author perception. I want to be known for quality product, but also for standing out. I don't want any of my books to get lost in the shuffle. And I don't want any of my stories to hurt for lack of a carefully thought out marketing approach.

The easier it is for someone to find me and my books, the more likely they are to purchase.

So, whenever and however you enter the market, remember: Create your product for the buyer who doesn't know you, doesn't have an attachment to you as a person, but has gained an interest in your story. Because if you choose for yourself, or your friends, you're only potentially hampering your own progress.

Hence, my new title: BREAKABLE.

It's unique. It's short. It's easy to remember. And it references my story.

How? *Grins* Well, you'll have to buy it to find out, I guess.

Your Turn: Whether you've sold a book before, or plan on selling one in the future, what process do you use to identify things like titles and cover images? What do you hope your brand says to your audience?

1 comment:

  1. I would like to tell that without the help of branding it is impossible to sell any product or service in the market.
    personal branding miami