Writers often think about two ideas integral to book selling: platform and branding.
In short, a platform is a solid readership base and branding is an identifiable set of characteristics that screams “author of xyz book(s)”.
There is always room for improvement with both. For platform building, some authors have high volume blogs or are well-known journalists. For others, like me, social networking like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram are easy and effective ways to generate interest for a book.
As for branding, I feel like I’ve been living that half my life. Way back in the early nineties, I started wearing qipaos when I went out. I clearly remember boarding a Washington, DC city bus on a freezing January night, dressed in a red qipao and wearing my hair in two braids, on my way to a Chinese New Year party. I wish I still had photos from that night!
When I moved back to Hong Kong later that year, I bought any traditional Chinese-inspired clothing I came across. My wedding outfit in 1995 included this frog-button tunic.
And of course my wedding qipao that summer.
In recent years back home in Chicago, I’ve continued to wear Chinese designs.
At my husband’s work benefit:
For my son’s middle school graduation (holding hands with my younger son):
And at our local botanical gardens:
I don’t wear these clothes to sell my book. I just like them! But it doesn’t hurt to have a look that matches the theme of my book!
And as luck would have it, my love of tea also enhances my branding!
I recently bought sticky note pads in this pattern, which incorporate my brand:
It can seem daunting to build platform and branding, but there are fun and creative ways to stir interest for an author. Speaking of, I can’t wait to reveal my custom-made book marks created by a fabulous designer in Hong Kong!