As an author, you've undoubtedly thought about creating book merchandise for your book before. It's something every author dreams of, but not a venture that every authors feels is necessary or plausible. Whether it's financial hardship, not knowing where to start, or feeling like it's a waste of time, there are a multitude of reasons why authors don't move forward with creating a merch line. While we understand that not everyone is in a position to follow through, this post is for the authors who are on the fence but seriously looking into why they should.
5 Reasons Book Merchandise Enhances Your Author Brand
Image Credit: Amazon. To browse specific item, links are provided at the bottom of this post.
1. Visibility & Awareness
The most obvious benefit to creating a merch line for your book is visibility and awareness. In the world of book marketing, an image speaks a thousands words. What do you want your author brand to say? Book merchandise allows you to cater to a visual audience, while your book appeals to readers. It's eye-catching, exciting, attracts attention, and can speak to your personality as an author. The second obvious reason is because it creates another stream of revenue for your author business, your first being the books you sell. It helps bolster your author brand because it lends credibility based on your expertise (if you create merchandise that helps other authors) and can elevate your status amongst readers if your promotional items are of quality and well-designed.
Here are some examples to help inspire you:
Brittany Wang's Author Merch Line
Bethany Atazadeh's Author Merch Line
2. Builds Your Readership
It's not enough to write a good book. You have to learn how to draw and maintain a loyal readership in order to have a successful author career. One way you can do this is by creating merchandise that allows your bookish followers to represent your brand. It's something they can get excited about, talk about, and bonus, it's more advertising for you. Each time a loyal fan wears your book t-shirt, carries the tote bag with your logo, or uses the travel mug with your character art on it is a chance that someone who hasn't read your book yet will see it. This leads to potential readers finding and joining your following, which in turn means more book sales. It also acts as a community builder. You can use your merch to reward your readers with giveaways, drum up excitement for your next book launch, and can be used as incentives for other ventures like newsletters, literary events such as festivals and conferences, and your patreon account.
Merchandise for Authors: Engage your readers while increasing your income
Featured on Joanna Penn’s The Creative Penn podcast.
Creating your own merchandise can bring in income and engage your readers as well as giving you the creative edge at literary events and festivals. In this book you’ll find: 5 things merchandise should do for you; 6 steps of new product development (NPD); how to think beyond bookmarks and coffee mugs; case studies and interviews with real authors and details of good suppliers to get you started.
3. Social Media Fodder
In this visual day-and-age, images matter. Social media is one of the greatest tools a writer has to connect with their readers and one way to attract attention is by using your merch line to lure in new readers. By using your own merch and showing it off you can create like-worthy photographs that will appeal to your ideal reader. Building your following on social media sites like Instagram prove to publishers and agents that you are a good investment. You can clearly demonstrate that you know how to promote yourself, connect with your readership, and write a fantastic story- the complete package that publishers are looking for.
4. Another Creative Outlet
Creating book merch is fun! It's another chance to express yourself creatively and make your author dreams come true. There's nothing quite like seeing your character's on a piece of clothing, your logo on a notebook, and quotes from your book on another person. It's extremely rewarding and solidifies that you're an "official" author in your mind, which can be incredibly empowering. It can boost your motivation to work harder and write more books- and who wouldn't want that?
5. Inspires Others
Lastly, it inspires other authors. Every time an aspiring author sees another author come out with a merch line, it gives us hope. Hope that our future could look like yours- published and thriving. That one day we can see our own work proudly displayed for purchase, that we can feel confident in our position in the writing world, and feel for once that we too are "real" writers. You can use your experience in creating a merch line to help other authors through the process. You can blog about how to do it, share your knowledge on Instagram, and build relationships by encouraging other authors to take their own steps into that part of the book marketing experience.
Shop Book Merch:
Edgar Allan Poe Book Art Print
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