Friday, August 24, 2012

Is Your PERSONA "Sticky"?

Take a moment to think about the following authors:
  • Stephen King
  • Anne Rice
  • Dr. Seuss
We're sure that distinct images, feelings, and even books came to mind.  Why?  The knee jerk response would be, "Because they are best selling authors."  This statement is true, but there are MANY authors who hit best seller lists and most of them fade from our memories rather quickly <sad, but true>. So, why are these authors so memorable?  They all have "sticky" PERSONAs.

Last Friday, we discussed the attributes of "sticky" messaging.  Now, let's take those same principles and apply them to your author PERSONA.

Recall that, according to Mr. Heath(s), there are six key qualities that make an idea (campaign) sticky:
  1. Simplicity
  2. Unexpectedness
  3. Concreteness
  4. Credibility
  5. Emotional
  6. Stories
Let's examine Stephen King's author PERSONA and see how the six qualities apply:

  1. Simplicity - He is the king of horror. 
  2. Unexpectedness - Though he is well known for his horror writing, Mr. King has broad back list in a variety of genres including science fiction, suspense, and even comic book adaptations.  He even writes a column titled "The Pop of King" about popular culture for Entertainment Weekly.  In an industry where authors are encouraged to be 'one trick ponies', Mr. King continues to produce a variety of creative works.  (Plus, he came out swinging after a terrible car crash.)
  3. Concreteness - Readers can relate to both Mr. King's personal struggles and the struggles of his characters.
  4. Credibility - Mr. King has won many awards for his writing, but at the end of the day his sales are strong.  And his sales are strong, because he writes great stories.
  5. Emotional - What high school girl hasn't wished that she could throttle somebody with the power of her mind, a la Carrie!  
  6. Stories - From his car crash to his pseudonym Richard Bachman, there are many stories that swirl around Stephen King.  Many fans also have stories about their encounters with him at book signings and in everyday life.
Just so we are clear, there are many well known authors within specific genres that don't have movies and branded products like Stephen King and J. K. Rowling.  However, they have sticky personas.  (J. R. Ward, Nora Roberts / J. D. Robb, Brenda Jackson, and Greg Rucka among others.)  Finding your niche and engaging your audience are the golden tickets to a successful writing career.  But it all starts with a well written book.

How can you make your PERSONA "sticky"?  
How can you engage your audience and create memorable experiences online, in person, through your characters, and your stories?

Any marketing questions can be posed in the comments on any post. If you have a question, others will too, so we can address our answers to all. Our posts are myths and tips we want to share but we love to target our answers to questions.

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