If you could summarize your writing style or persona in the
length of a vanity license plate, what would it be?
Sure, it sounds like a silly exercise but it may be one of the most important things that you can do as an author when it comes to branding.
You need to identify your best traits and hone in on how you want others to see you. What you sell is what people will define you by. What you project is what others will come to see you as.
Ok, so where do you start?
First, develop your elevator speech, a 180-word statement that summarizes who you are, what your book is about, and why people should care.
Then, create a mantra, a standard by which you live by as it relates to your writing. Think of it as a tag line.
Now narrow it all down to one to three words and then find a way to use shorthand to squeeze it onto a recognizable vanity plate.
The New York Post recently ran a story about vanity license plate applications in New York state that got rejected for vulgarity, racism, sexuality, etc. Sorry, MILFDAD, AS5MAN, and FJOEBIDEN are no-no’s. Anything blatantly referring to drugs, politics, and identities seem to get rejected as well. But in reading this funny article, I began to wonder what some popular authors would put on their license plates.
Do these author plates exist?
Stephen King: MESCARE
Amanda Gormon: POETNOIT
Michael Connelly: LAWTHRILL
Danielle Steel: RITELUV
Joel Osteen: GOTFAITH
Another way to create your vanity plate is to simply brainstorm for 10-15 minutes. Just free think and write down any descriptive words that naturally come to mind. Don’t reject anything, No filters. No judging. Just spit shit out and then go back to see what sticks out and speaks to you. Look at synonyms for your words — the shorter the better. Find ways to shorten words, even using numbers or blank spaces. Think of ways to say great, best, No.1, tops. Turn this into an opportunity to claim why people should like your books.
What would mine be, you ask? Maybe one of these:
NO 1 BOOKPR
I SELL U
MY PR GREAT
Though this exercise is intended for you to figure out who you are and how you want to stick out for others to see, at the end of this you could actually go out and put the plate on your car. Why not?
So, what would your author vanity license plate be? You need to answer that. Today.
Brian Feinblum, the founder of this award-winning blog, can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org He is available to help authors promote their story, sell their book, and grow their brand. He has 30 years of experience in successfully helping thousands of authors in all genres.
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About Brian Feinblum
Brian Feinblum should be followed on Twitter @theprexpert. This is copyrighted by BookMarketingBuzzBlog ©2022. Born and raised in Brooklyn, he now resides in Westchester with his wife, two kids, and Ferris, a black lab rescue dog. His writings are often featured in The Writer and IBPA’s The Independent. This blog, with over 4,000 posts over the past decade, was named one of the best book marketing blogs by BookBaby http://blog.bookbaby.com/2013/09/the-best-book-marketing-blogs and recognized by Feedspot in 2021 and 2018 as one of the top book marketing blogs. It was also named by WinningWriters.com as a "best resource.” For the past three decades, including 21 as the head of marketing for the nation’s largest book publicity firm, and two jobs at two independent presses, Brian has worked with many first-time, self-published, authors of all genres, right along with best-selling authors and celebrities such as: Dr. Ruth, Mark Victor Hansen, Joseph Finder, Katherine Spurway, Neil Rackham, Harvey Mackay, Ken Blanchard, Stephen Covey, Warren Adler, Cindy Adams, Susan RoAne, Jeff Foxworthy, Seth Godin, and Henry Winkler. He recently hosted a panel on book publicity for Book Expo America, and has spoken at ASJA, IBPA, Sarah Lawrence College, Nonfiction Writers Association, Cape Cod Writers Association, Willamette (Portland) Writers Association, and Connecticut Authors and Publishers Association. His letters-to-the-editor have been published in The Wall Street Journal, USA Today, New York Post, NY Daily News, Newsday, The Journal News (Westchester) and The Washington Post. He has been featured in The Sun Sentinel and Miami Herald. For more information, please consult: linkedin.com/in/brianfeinblum.