A fundamental component of an author brand is putting out quality product time and time again and that means remaining dedicated to the craft of writing. While this blog and site does not specifically deal with becoming a better writer, it must be stated that craft is intrinsic to author discovery. An author only gets one chance to win over a reader and if you are putting out shoddy product then your brand will be defined as such.
I recently discovered a newbie author who clearly has invested time in her craft. Allow me to introduce author Renita Bryant.
Renita is the author of the critically acclaimed novella, Yesterday Mourning. You can follow her on Twitter, Facebook, and read her thought-provoking blog, Renita’s Mynd Matters. Last week, we had the benefit of hearing from a more established author on brand building. This week let’s examine brand building from the perspective of a relative newcomer.
AD.com: Welcome to Author Discovery, Renita and thanks for stopping by today. What is your author brand?
Renita Bryant (RB): I’m the ‘interpersonal’ woman! Whether it’s my book, blog, poems, or posts on social media, I focus on the interactions and expectations rooted in our human connections. Sometimes it’s romantic relationships while at other times it may be parents and children or even friendships. Embedded within each of those dynamics is also the personal journey/struggle we all face. My brand is about bringing clarity and depth to enable authentic, transparent, thought-provoking, honest, fair exchanges between all people.
AD.com: So you are all about connections it seems. How did you go about defining it, Renita?
RB: It’s actually closely linked to who I am and what I’m all about. After considering my book and long-term goals, I knew my brand had to be aligned with my life and for me that means the things I mentioned before. I want people to feel so closely connected after reading my writing, they’d want to sit down for a cup of tea and really talk.
AD.com: There goes that concept of authenticity again. You heard it last week from Matthew and now we are hearing it from Renita. How have you translated that into your online discovery efforts (social media, blog, interviews, other)?
RB: Although my novel is fiction, there are some aspects that mirror my own life. On my blog, I’m very transparent and discuss my thoughts, relationships, mistakes, and areas of growth. I’ve been interviewed by several outlets online and I’ve started the process to give live radio and television (book review segments) interviews as well. I’m accessible via Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Google+, and Goodreads! I post in all of those places and look for opportunities to connect with other writers and readers.
AD.com: I’ve read your blog and can definitely attest to the transparency piece. What has been the reaction to your blog? Has it boosted discovery (and in turn book sales)?
RB: My blog is doing well! It’s been read in 30+ countries and I’ve seen steady growth since the restart in mid-August. I believe the blog helps expand my network by introducing me to potential readers while also strengthening the connection with current Yesterday Mourning readers. My strategy has been to integrate my writing journey, creative expression (including poetry and short stories), and life topics that focus on interpersonal relationships. I’m still fairly new in the process, but I’ve definitely seen a boost in social media and even a recent connection with a widely known author/relationship expert. I’d love to say it’s opened the floodgates for book sales but at this point it hasn’t had that direct impact. I’ve had a few additional sales but it’s always good to have more!
AD.com: So your blog is more about fostering and deepening connections with readers who get a transparent view of who you are as a writer and as a woman. Very interesting! So what’s next for you?
RB: Of course I’m writing a few blogs a week while I continue to work on my next novel. I also have plans to release a collection of poetry, examples of which are published on my site.
AD.com: A few blogs a week and writing a new novel! Wow. That’s great output! So, what’s been your biggest author discovery challenge so far and how are you addressing it?
RB: Balancing the need to push myself and my products to gain readers with the internal desire to write, write, and write some more. Promoting, developing strategy and creating relationships are all extremely important and as a new author, it’s sometimes a challenge to effectively manage time.
Ad.com: Truer words were never spoken and this is a great lead in to the final chapter in this 3 part series which is all about balancing author discovery techniques without neglecting the writing. Thanks again for stopping by Renita!
Stay tuned to the conclusion of this series on author branding.