In the age of AI (artificial intelligence) and other emerging technologies that threaten to disrupt authors and the book industry as a whole, there is one way to stand out — personal branding.

As ChatGPT and other natural language processing tools improve, so will the number of books written or partially written using these tools. What does that mean for you, the author? More books mean more competition for readers. With more competition, standing out could become increasingly difficult. However, you have the differentiator that any AI tool lacks. YOU.

What is personal branding for authors?

Personal branding is who you are and what you value. It’s how and where you show up and what you say. It’s the intentional connection you make with readers, other writers, bookstore owners, conference producers, the media, book bloggers, and others in the writing community. It’s how often you post on social media and what you post or have your own podcast and the content and guests you present. Your voice, face, and tone of your writing all contribute to how you present yourself to the world.

Personal branding for authors is also about the types and number of books you write. If you have 20 books under your belt, it says something about your dedication to the craft and your audience. Even without 20 books, it’s about how often you share your knowledge or insight at a conference or delight readers with a funny video on TikTok. It’s the tone you use when you engage with people and the way you show you care about whoever is watching, reading, or listening.

How to develop a personal brand?

First, you develop a personal brand by being intentional. It’s important to understand that personal branding is a long-term play. Unlike a book review promotion or a press release for your book launch, developing your personal brand as an author takes consistent effort. For most who want to make writing their career choice or even a dedicated hobbyist, this effort has a long-term benefit.

For those with a business background, we know that part of the branding equation is the colors we choose, along with fonts and logos. For authors, that’s often a stylized author name. You can create three or four graphic templates to use on social media using a program like Canva so you can easily pop in new quotes or event announcements. You’ll consistently show up across social media and your website, and people will recognize it as YOUR brand.

However, personal branding isn’t just about colors or fonts. It’s about what you say and how you say it. First, think about your personality. Are you funny, scholarly, creative, inspiring, technical, quiet, sarcastic, or something else? Also, consider your genre or topic and what readers might like.

Along with the design you choose and what and how you say to your audience, think about how you personally present yourself either on screen or in person. Consider spending some money on a professional headshot. It doesn’t mean you need to dust off a business suit if that’s not you. Are you a white tee shirt and jeans type? Are you more at home with cowboy boots and a hat? Do you prefer more of an album cover look? Reveal a little about yourself with your dress and swagger.

The same consideration goes to your background when doing video, including Zoom, or taking photos. Do they reinforce or detract from your brand? You don’t need a studio setup to project your brand. Just look around before you start to ensure you don’t unintentionally “say” something you don’t mean to say.

A few tips on personal branding for authors

Be intentional

As mentioned before, it doesn’t matter as much what your personal brand may be. It’s that you decide to make it part of your book marketing efforts.

Be authentic

Your best personal brand is one that is authentically you, warts and all. It’s ok to share struggles along with your triumphs. It’s ok to be new to writing or unsure of the next step. And it’s ok to be really proud of what you’ve accomplished. Hopefully, authenticity is the easiest part of personal branding for you.

Be consistent

Personal branding works when it’s consistently applied. Whether you are using social media, creating a website, doing a book signing, presenting a workshop, or as a guest on a podcast, consistent tone and messaging will help readers find the connection point with you so they remember who you are.

Be committed to your readers

Like marketing in general, commitment is the key to success. Developing a personal brand and having it resonate with readers happens over time. Be the one that is there today, a year from now, and five years into the future.

What’s the payoff?

When you develop your personal brand, your intentional, authentic you, you’ll attract readers and others in the writing community. They’ll appreciate what you bring to the world and how you connect with them. They’ll seek you out for their next event and buy your next book. They’ll tell their friends about you because you made an impression on them.

You’ll stand out from AI bots and AI-written books because readers care about the writers who write them. Humans crave human connection. And you can show them just how human you are.

Grab your FREE QuickStart Publishing Guide!

Get valuable information to confidently navigate the publishing process PLUS a publishing checklist to keep you on track to becoming a successful author.

You have Successfully Subscribed!