Your book will share your ideas and information. It also shares your image, also known as your brand.
A Brand Is …
Brand has been described as “the space you occupy in the mind of the client.” It represents your values and vision and is reinforced at every touchpoint of your business — website, phone message, social media posts, logo, customer service (the fun-fun WestJet flight attendants is branding). Depending on your business, you might say, “it’s your aura, man.” Brands aren’t only for business. There are plenty of people who have personal brands — athletes, models, actors, influencers, but also designers, photographers, trainers, coaches, and consultants, for example.
Your book supports and can even help define your brand. Think of it as your brand’s best friend. And, it brings visibility and credibility to your brand story. You can even launch a new brand with a book. I wouldn’t hang all the heavy lifting on it, but what a terrific give-away for your guests and the media at your grand opening event.
So what does it mean for your book to be on-brand? Your book’s cover art, title and style of writing (tone) all carry your brand. Even the format of your book contributes, for instance, large type, illustrations, vector graphics, or photos, workbook-style, ring-bound, graphic-novel style…
Aligning your book with your brand doesn’t mean your book has to be a Big Idea book (a thought-leader book) dedicated to delivering your brand philosophy. It could be. But here’s the thing, your book doesn’t even need to be overtly about your business. But it must reflect your values and be authentic to be on-brand. For instance, talk show host Jimmy Fallon has a personal brand. But his recent book isn’t a memoir or a “joke” book. Instead, he (or his ghostwriter) wrote a children’s book spot-on to his personal brand. Of course, children are not his market — their parents are.
Likewise, while a personal brand can be supported by a memoir, it isn’t the only way to go. For example, a lawyer could write Ten Legal Battles that Shaped Canada. A private practice psychologist might write a book about bird watching with their dad, or a used car business owner could write My Love Affair with a ‘34 Edsel.
Support Your Brand
A book that doesn’t conflict with your existing brand is good. A book that supports your brand is even better. Regardless of how you approach your book, consider its impact on your existing brand — or the one you are building.
I’ve been doing a bit o’ brand work lately and have registered a new domain Brand Spanking Books. It may become a Make Hay sister biz or it may become a publishing imprint. Right now, it’s parked in the thinking stage. Let me know what you think of the name.
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