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The Author and The Brand

With over thirty authors in our stable we have a real mix of the academic, the businessperson, the philanthropist and the storyteller. In a decade that will be dominated by online (only one large physical bookstore chain left now in the UK following the demise of Borders) there has never been a greater opportunity for the author to use their book as a marketing tool – for their own name as brand or their company brand.

There is much talk about ‘the author being the brand’ and there is a lot of truth in that though there is plenty of opportunity for those authors whose book represents a business tool to focus on the business brand as well as their own personal brand. Lets look at some examples.

Sue Ostler’s brand is ‘Flirt Diva‘ and her book is quickly becoming the training manual of choice of single women in the UK and beyond to tackle the challenging modern dating world. Sue links in with related activities to enhance and drive her brand – Hen Parties that include a flirting masterclass, Speed-Dating Evenings with her as the guru star guest and much more.

Alistair Duncan’s brand is himself. With two successful Sherlock Holmes books under his belt (Eliminate The Impossible and Close To Holmes) and a third being launched on the 1st March (The Norwood Author) Alistair is becoming established as a rising star in the Sherlockian and Doylean worlds. He’s building the brand with his Alistair Duncan Blog and Alistair Duncan Twitter account. Wherever his Sherlockian advertures take him he is building a credible brand underpinned by his books and supplemented by the social activity.

Olive Hickmott has several brands, one of which Empowering Health tackles health related NLP issues. Olive has two books in the field – Recover Your Energy and You Too Can Do Health and in addition to Olive’s Twitter Account and various blogs Olive is also a regular speaker at conferences and contributor to magazines and journals – in the autumn edition of Amoena Magazine for example where Olive feeds in to helping cancer sufferers who are ‘running on empty’.

So whether you are growing your personal brand or your company brand let your books contribute to and lend vital credibility to it.

 
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Posted by on January 30, 2010 in Publishing

 

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Publishing In a Digital World

With our feature in the Sunday Times a few weeks ago we have been approached by several would-be publishers and have consequently put together a simple consultancy package in 4 hour sessions that goes through all you need to become a book publisher in the new digital world. It’s been a fascinating process as it has reminded me of the bumps along the road in setting up the publishing company. It’s also prompted me to start the long overdue process of the publishing blog.

It’s three years down the line and we now have over 50 titles with around 30 authors. I look back and I wish I had had access to a mentor to explain this new world and the landscape that stretches from self-publishing at the one end and the major publishing houses at the other end. We are working now with our second ‘new publisher’ Matthew (Murielle Maupoint was the first and her debut title came out a few weeks ago) and have one session a week covering everything from distribution to setup, marketing to dealing with authors. Matthew commented that he learnt more in the first hour than he had gleaned from a couple of months of web research.

A few of my friends have commented on the logic of tutoring new publishers that are essentially entering our market of ‘partnership publishing’ but let me share a few revelations. Firslty the process of re-examining ones own business and putting down in writing the steps you would have done, had you know them, if you were starting again from scratch is actually an excellent experience. I’m able to sit down with my fellow directors and show the end-to-end of the business which until then was largely inside my head.

Secondly, its a brilliant form of networking. I feel I have made an excellent contact in Murielle and intend to keep in touch and be at the end of the phone as her business grows and I am getting the same feeling from Matthew too. Murielle has already referred business my way and in consultancy session 1 Matthew gave me some great ideas that I will be following up on too. Finally, an probably most importantly I am thoroughly enjoying it.

It’s a big market out there and there is space for thousands of partnership publishers – a learning from the process for me has been the need to begin to specialise when you reach a certain size – we will focus on NLP and therapy, Victorian Literature and ’cause based’ books (like Environmental) as the book sales do start to feed off each other.

So if there are any more would be publishers out there that want to accelerate their start and avoid the pitfalls we identified then we’d be delighted to hear from you. It’s not quite ‘digital publishing company in a box’ but pretty close.

 
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Posted by on September 19, 2009 in Publishing

 

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