Discover Ways to Brand Yourself and Earn More Money as a Writer

This post is a blogged draft excerpt from The Author Training Manual (Writer’s Digest Books, March 2014). Read the previous blogged excerpt, here.

An author's brand helps sell more books.Now that you have your map and directions for the completion of your manuscript, the next step in the Author Training Process asks you to extend your vision of success past publication of your first book. Think about how you can support your book and further your writing career. There’s more to reaching your goal—successful authorship—than producing a manuscript. And your map needs to include these details, too.

Step #7 in the Author Training Process, Discover Ways to Brand Yourself and Earn More Money, often gets skipped by writers who aren’t looking at the big picture, in this case the longevity of their own career as writers and of the sales life of their book. They simply see themselves as writers and as authors of one book, the one they would like to write at this moment.

See the Big Picture

If this describes you, take off your blinders. An Author Attitude involves seeing the big picture of your book, yourself and your career. It means conceptualizing how you want readers to see and think about you and your book or books and how you want to build a career or business around your writing. To earn a living from your book, you have to become a savvy entrepreneur and discover ways to build a business around your book. This entails seeing yourself and your books as a brand, which is a business concept, rather than just as a writer or an author. It also means seeing yourself as more than a one-book wonder.

While it’s a fabulous idea to focus your energy and attention on the book at hand—and your book needs that if it is to succeed—you also must think beyond this particular book. Agents and publishers consider your future as a writer when they look at your first book idea; so should you. This long-term vision, which you created during Step #1, Assess if You Have an Author Attitude, is part of your business plan. (If you didn’t include this in your vision of success, once you read this, go back and rewrite your vision and add the elements discussed here.)

When you visualized your career, how many books did you see yourself writing? Where did you see yourself in 10 years? Where did you see your book? Did you see yourself continuing to receive a good income from it for many years—possibly forever—because of the continuing value it provides rather than having to remove it from the market? Did you see yourself speaking and teaching on topics related to that book? Did you see yourself writing additional related books?

Will You Write More Books or Create Related Products and Services?

Your vision—and your map—actually needs to extend beyond the completion of your manuscript and beyond the release of your published book. That’s just one destination—not the final one—if you want to become a successful author and create a career as an author.  Step #7, Discover Ways to Brand Yourself and Earn More Money, corresponds with several optional sections in a book proposal called “Spin-offs,” “Subsidiary Rights” and “Resources Needed to Complete the Book.” These sections ask you to consider:

  • Additional books you might write
  • Additional products and services you might offer
  • The money you need to complete your current project and begin earning additional income

Developing additional books and products constitute platform building and promotion activities for serious writers and authorprenuers. These activities require that you think about what readers naturally will want from you after the publication of your first book.  Publishers want to know how you are going to keep the momentum going to sell the first book. You might accomplish this with your second book or with additional products.

The Author Training ManualNote: You can read additional blogged draft excerpts from my new book, The Author Training Manual (Writer’s Digest Books, March 2014) here. Only select pieces from the manuscript, a “working draft,” were posted—not the complete manuscript. Read the next post in the The Author Training Manual blogged-book series by clicking here. Purchase the book on, or at

LeaLearn how to become a successful authorrn how to create a successful book—one that sells to publishers and to readers—by developing an AUTHOR ATTITUDE and writing a BUSINESS PLAN for a MARKETABLE BOOK. Register for the AUTHOR TRAINING 101 Home-Study Course, and go from aspiring to successful published author! This course is based on The Author Training Manual. If you like what you’ve read here, you’ll love the course.

Image credit: samuiarzt / 123RF Stock Photo


  1. Nina, thank you for this. I am 70. This helps.

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