This is Part 8 of “Let’s Discover Your Author Brand” using Emlyn Chand’s and Robb Grindstaff’s book Discover Your Brand: A Do-it-Yourself Branding Workbook for Authors. I’ll refer to the book from now on as “Discover Your Brand”.
For those interested here are Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, Part 5, Part 6, and Part 7.
In Part 7, we looked at chapter 7, which examined “creating a hierarchy”. This turned out to be more discussion on determining your genre.
We’re going to wrap things up in this post with an examination of the rest of the book along with my thoughts on it as a whole. Let’s start with chapter 8.
Chapter 8 is a summary of what’s gone before, though the authors do introduce some new information.
The chapter begins by advising those whose writing interest crosses into multiple genres to consider using a pen name. The authors rightly point out that readers who like your fantasy works (for example) may not be enthusiastic about your gritty crime stories. A different pen name under which to write may be appropriate for each genre. There is nothing new in this advice, others around the net have this ground well covered, but it’s a useful reminder to new authors who have a range of writing interests.
Defining your Brand
The authors next provide a series of 10 questions to be answered by the reader in “rich and vibrant detail”. Some examples include:
- What are the two or three genres you chose?
- How should readers feel while reading your writing?
- Why do you write? What do you want to show the world
Some of the questions will have been answered before, others are new. All are designed to help you focus on what I would call your “core brand statement” which the authors have you construct in a paragraph beginning with the words: “Readers will enjoy my writing because …”.
Refining Your Brand Statement
You’re then instructed to further refine and condense the paragraph, boiling it down into single sentence and ultimately to just three words. This exercise has a lot of value in that if forces you to focus on developing your brand statement.
Chapter 8 is comparatively short and the book moves to its conclusion thereafter, which consists of a single page summary of the main points covered in the work. The conclusion takes up a mere 1/2 page and could have provided a bit more of a reminder for each of the main points.
As the name implies, this section provides access to extras available only to those who purchased the book. There are several:
All of these add value. However, some of the content is a bit sparse and some is written in the same conversational style as Discover Your Brand. I don’t particularly care for that style in a “how to book”, but that’s just me.
In order to receive the free digital copy of Your Guide to Creating an Author Platform, you must subscribe to a newsletter. It may be nit-picky, but to me that’s not really “free content”; you are trading something the Discover Your Brand authors find valuable — your email address — for the content.
Of all of the “freebies” I particularly liked the guide to building the author platform and the quick list of words readers associate with each genre. The authors have done some leg work on the latter and the information will come in handy for must genre writers.
I recommend this book if you are just starting out as a fiction writer.
The writing style is breezy and conversational, making it an easy read, but novice writers will quickly feel a need to go beyond the basics offered here. The initial chapters are strong, particularly the ones helping you define your brand. They are much “meatier” than the later chapters. i feel the authors ran out of steam a bit towards the end. The free extras make up for the weaker ending chapters.
The book is not expensive. If you are just beginning your fiction writing efforts, buy it, work through it, and move on.
This concludes my in-depth review of “Discover Your Brand — A Do It Yourself Branding Workbook for Authors. I hope you found it valuable.
What’s your opinion? Was my review fair? Unfair? If you have read the book, let me know what you think.
Thanks for reader, and I will see you again soon.