Writing & book marketing ideas for personal branding success

Posted March 23rd @ 6:22 am by Roger C. ParkerPrint

If you’re looking for ideas & tips for writing and book marketing for personal branding success, check out Warren Graham’s Black Belt Librarian book and website.

Warren Graham’s Black Belt Librarian story has lessons for everyone looking for ways to leverage their previous career and experiences into a personal brand that opens doors of opportunities for a new chapter in their lives.


Warren Graham was a security professional for more than 25 years, including 17 years as the security manager of the Public Library of Charlotte and Mecklenburg County, North Carolina.

In 2006, he established Warren Davis Graham Training and Consulting.

Ideas & tips for personal branding & book marketing success

Here are just a few of the ideas and tips that immediately came to mind.

  1. Book titles build personal brands. The first thing that occurred to me was Black Belt Librarian’s masterful title. As I described in #Book Title Tweet: 140 Bite-Sized Ideas for Compelling Article, Book, and Event Titles, book titles based on metaphors communicate at a glance; they immediately engage the prospective reader’s curiosity and concisely explain the book’s benefit. Black Belt Librarians doesn’t require explanation; it immediately paints a picture in the prospective reader’s mind.
  2. Book cover. As also described in #Book Title Tweet, strong book titles lead to strong book cover designs, especially when the covers are sourced to top-quality designers. The Black Belt Librarian’s cover supports, but does not overwhelm, the Black Belt metaphor. The short title and subtitle also creates plenty of room for the convincing visual that reinforces the image.
  3. Concise website copy sells. When you visit the Black Belt Librarians website, you may be surprised at the fast-loading, simple pages and concise copywriting. Yet, as online usability experts like Ginny Redish’s Letting Go of the Words and Lynda Felder’s Writing for the Web describe, website visitors want concise, easy-to-read copy!
  4. Above the fold design. Notice how most of the web pages do not requiring scrolling, as both the header and the message are completely visible in most browsers.
  5. Providing service details where it counts. Although most of the pages on the Warren Graham’s web site are short and to the point, notice how he provides complete details of the individual pages that link to his description of the consulting services he offers. If you are an event planner or a librarian facing serious challenges, the answer to your concerns is probably contained on one of the linked pages.
  6. Empathy & removing the sting. Notice the website’s motto, or positioning statement, It’s about Communication. Notice how the three simple words add a positive spin that takes away some of the “seriousness” or threat of the Black  Belt Librarian’s title and the book’s subtitle, Real World Safety & Security. The It’s About Communication promises peaceful resolutions rather than physical confrontations.
  7. Home page graphics. Notice the 3 rotating home page graphics, which summarize reactions to the book and reinforce the site’s reassuring It’s about Communication message.

Niche marketing for personal branding success

Specific writing and book marketing lessons aside, I find one of the most fascinating aspects of Black Belt Librarians is the author’s transition from “employee” to niche marketing success in less than a decade.

What’s especially fascinating is the way the author targeted a market that manages to be larger than it might appear to be at first glance.

At first glance, you might think, “How many copies of the book are likely to be sold–after all, there’s usually just one library in most towns!”

Viewed from that perspective, i.e., the typical “numbers” perspective, its sales potential might appear to be limited.

Once you move beyond the “bestseller” mentality, and view the project from the perspective of personal branding, however, project takes on a new light:

  • Niche marketing permits higher sales price. Black Belt Librarians is a $45 book currently selling on Amazon.com for $40.04…far more than books intended for broader markets.
  • Single libraries, multiple constituencies. Although most towns may only have a single library, Black Belt Librarian’s actual market is probably considerably larger, when you take into account other interested parties, i.e., city managers, mayors, boards of selectmen, library trustees, friends of the library, etc.
  • Personal branding & back-end sales. Most important, the correct prospective for writing a book isn’t to view it as a sales of profits from book sales, but as a vehicle for building a personal brand that creates its own web of back-end profit opportunities from speaking, presenting, and training.

Undoubtedly, you’ve noticed other other personal branding and online book marketing ideas and tips when you visited Black Belt Librarians. Please share them, below, as comments.

Would you like to learn more?

I’m thinking of asking Warren Graham to join the more than 500 published authors and others who have written nonfiction books that have successfully built their personal brands. I’m fascinated by the way he carved out a niche after 25 years of of career experience. What were the steps that lead to his second book and his growing business? Let me know if you, too, would like to know more about Warren Graham’s journey to personal branding and book publishing success. Please leave a comment, below.

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  1. Pingback: Writing & book marketing ideas for personal branding success | Drive Fast or Die Old on March 25, 2012


  1. Haylee Jennings
    March 23, 2012

    well, internet books are very tough to make and sell, but if you can figure out the perfect niche and use affordable creative marketing techniques it’s worth it!

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