Write Your Novel In A Year – Week 51: Finding Your Identity And Power As A Novelist


A single image, a powerful idea

Al Ries, a PR guru, writes that, ‘A brand is a singular idea or concept that you own inside the mind of the prospect.’  This is a good place to focus on your brand.

When you’re writing a novel, you often have an image or symbol that captures the theme or plot of the story. You can do the same for developing your brand. If you had to boil it down to just one image – what would it be?

For example, if you’re a writer of modern romance, you could have an image of a striking silhouette of a couple looking over a glittering city.  If you’re going for historical action and adventure, for example, you could perhaps see an embellished Viking cross as your symbol.

And then, as a next step, you can create a brand pay-off line. A unique and powerful sentence that captures who you are and what you write about.

If we go back to the writer of modern romance, your pay-off line could be, ‘Real characters, real passion – real love stories for lovers of contemporary romance.’ And for the historical writer, it could be, ‘Discover the bloodiest, bravest, boldest heroes of the Viking era.’ OK, not great – but you get the idea.

 Be real

I don’t think you can fake or manufacture a brand identity.  Authenticity is key – because readers will know if you’re an imitator, they will know if you write your books from an honest place or not. The truth is you can only be yourself in your writing and your life.

I believe there’s true power in knowing yourself, of knowing your faults, your dreams, your aspiration … in fact, everything that makes you unique. The stories and scripts I’ve written that have been most successful always explore the themes that resonate with me: identity, sexuality, and obsession.

As Natasha Ilumberg, the great memoirist says, ‘I was born without mental eyelids.’

 Timelock — 2 to 3 hours

Spend some time exploring your brand identity.

5 Quick Hacks

  1. Design or draw a logo for your brand as a writer.
  2. Try an experiment. Each day for a week, work on one of your potential brand ideas. Which one did you connect with the most?
  3. Write on a card. Write: My name is … and my brand is ….because …
  4. Write a profile of your ideal or perfect reader. Who is she? What does he want from your stories?
  5. Make strong decisions and be confident.

Pin it, quote it, believe it:

‘Innovate – don’t imitate.’ Anthony Ehlers

This article has 1 comment

  1. Nancy Whitmore

    Very interesting and thought-provoking articles! Thank you for all of the helpful tips! I’m not a published author yet, but hope to be one someday! 😊 I found a typo in your article about building your brand as an author (week 50) and thought you might like to know. It’s the word “your” in the following sentence…

    “You have to start acting like an author – how else will people take your seriously?”

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