Sunset with wiresRecently, I had a nice chat with Kathy Meis, the founder of Bublish. Meis believes every author should build a personal brand. She believes Bublish is the tool that will allow you to do that with minimum time and effort.

Bublish claims to be a lot of things including, “A revolutionary tool that enables authors to actively promote their book while writing it”. Just exactly how that would be done or even if an author should reveal publicly anything other than his best work is a matter of opinion.

As an author on Bublish I can upload my books to their site and then easily extract excerpts from it, and, accompanied by personal insights, launch them via Twitter, Facebook, email and through Bublish into the digital void. The goal is to build a brand that will attract a following that will eventually translate into book sales – I think. Notice that sales is at the end of this list.

Because I didn’t make notes during our conversation and because, in essence, Meis reiterated the points she addressed in her article entitled “Why Every Author Should Build a Personal Brand”, posted on the Bublish site, I’m going to comment on the article.

In the article Meis asks, “So if readers were asked to describe your personal author brand or value proposition in a few words or phrases, what would they say? Do you know?”

Right here, I have a problem with the premise. Why would anyone ask the few readers I have to describe my “personal author brand or value proposition in a few words or phrases”? Would they even know what the question meant? I don’t?

Meis explains, “If not, perhaps it’s worth taking some time to define and create a plan for your personal brand.

Okay, so, let’s say I think the lack of a “personal author brand” might be the missing link to the success that has been eluding me. How would I “define and create a plan” for my personal brand? Meis suggests five steps:

 

  1. Discover your brand

Explore and define your life-long aspirations, passions and goals as an author. When you start in a place of honesty, you build a brand that is genuine.

I would like to write well and be respected for that ability by those in the profession. Through my books, I want to address issues that concern me and share my vision of the world with readers.

 

  1. Ask hard questions

What makes your work compelling? What differentiates you and your writing in today’s book marketplace? How do readers perceive you and your work? Is that perception aligned with the perception you desire? Do the books you create and the way you market them help you cultivate your personal author brand and achieve your goals? How do you add value to your community of fans?

Is this a huge jump or have I missed something? It’s almost impossible for me (and I’d bet this goes for most writers) to be objective about my work. It’s like unconditional love – even if you recognize the flaws you overlook them in light of their positive qualities. So wouldn’t these “hard questions” be bettered answered by my readers – hold on, I don’t have any.

 

  1. Create a plan

Map out a clear long-term roadmap to help you reach your goals. This should include the types of books you will write (not necessarily just genre, specific qualities are important too), when you will release them, the way you will share them with the world, and the types of actions you will take on a regular basis to demonstrate the qualities and values for which you wish to be known.

Though I may have some idea of the types of books I will write, how will I know when they’ll be completed or how they’ll be published? The BIG PICTURE – A Camera, A Young Woman, An Uncompromising Ethic, was completed a year ago. Forty-two rejections and twelve months later, I self-published it. What if the first agent I sent it to wanted to represent it?

 

  1. Choose your platforms.

Hang on? I thought I was supposed to have a following before I released my books? Wouldn’t this following determine the platform?

 

  1. Think long term.

Of course, Meis wants you to think long term, and keep renewing that subscription  ($199 per year), but at some point you have to take a peak at the bottom line and see if you’re getting any return on your investment.

The rest of the article goes on to give examples of successful authors that have huge social media followings but begs the question which came first – did a social media following result in fame or the opposite? Industry professionals now, almost unanimously agree (unless they’re flogging a book stating otherwise) that social media followings do not convert into sales.

So in the end, I thank Kathy very much for the free Bublish subscription, which I continue to use. She tells me to persevere and things will begin to happen. I appreciate our frank discussion. I feel she’s sincere.

The Bublish Authorpreneur Platform is seductive and each day I check it to see what kind of response my “bubbles” are getting. At the time of posting this blog I’ve had 880 bubble views;105 viewers have gone a step further to view my Bublish profile; and, 8 have taken an additional step to check me out on Amazon.

What does this mean? I’m not sure. I do know it hasn’t resulted in any sales.

Oh, but then I’m forgetting to apply step five.

 

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My new novel, The BIG PICTURE – A Camera, A Young Woman, An Uncompromising Ethic is now available on Amazon at http://www.amazon.ca/gp/product/B00LTXGD58

Visit my publisher’s website for excerpts from, and buy links to, my three novels, Spirit Bear, Eagleridge Bluffs, and Not Wonder More – Mad Maggie and the Mystery of the Ancients. http://devinedestinies.com

Read my current work(s) in progress a http://wattpad.com/RodRaglin

More of my original photographs can be viewed, purchased, and shipped to you as GREETING CARDS; matted, laminated, mounted, framed, or canvas PRINTS; and POSTERS. Go to: http://www.redbubble.com/people/rodraglin

 View my flickr photostream at https://www.flickr.com/photos/78791029@N04/

Or, My YouTube channel if you prefer photo videos accompanied by classical music

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCsQVBxJZ7eXkvZmxCm2wRYA

 

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