In recent times authoring a book has gone beyond sharing your thoughts and experiences with the world. It has gone beyond the profit that comes with becoming a bestseller and the pride of being fought over at the local book store. It is now about positioning your brand for higher value overtime and creating a legacy that will be referenced long after you are gone. Writing a book is now about capturing your life in timelessness. With the very many publication tools and platforms available today, it is very possible to preserve your thoughts beyond your present and into your future. Books that will matter beyond the present have to be seen as creating a legacy from book idea thinking, to book writing, designing and marketing. The string that ties all that together to deliver the perception of legacy building is brand development.
Yes, book branding is now a thing. It’s the sacred art and science of applying the fundamental principles of brand development to a book project. In the words of Nemanji Parker, ”book branding is simply viewing a book project as a business, culture development, and personality selling”. He says, when you use that lens, you become more intentional about the entire process that leads up to the book launch and that is activated after the book launch. Just like a business or personal brand, the book brand first has a purpose, then a personality, then identity assets before communication.
Just after JJ Omojuwa made a social media post on his coming book, due to the massive love we have for his personality, our team reached out to him to drive the thinking and expressions for branding his new book. With a 30 mins clarity session over the phone, he shared with us his vision for the book, which we summarized as, ”to lead an holistic conversation on digital transformation in Africa, provide a relatable and relevant tool for navigating the terrain and prepare African youths for the future of the world.”
Based on the vision we triangulated the brand identity into 3 constructs
ABSTRACTION AND EXTENSION FRAMEWORK (AEF)
Omojuwa had done a fantastic job with the manuscript. So, with a defined strategy we set out to create visual assets for the book. The book cover is the most important visual asset of a book because it works just like the human face, and company logo. It’s the first visual element that describes the book, sets expectations, and pulls people in to buy, read or recommend. Because books are now legacy assets, we understood that the book will be used to achieve multiple brand building objectives for Omojuwa and be used in deploying multiple brand programmes. This is the thinking that created the abstraction and extension framework.
The framework explains that book covers need to be thought of as identity assets that support branding programmes and drive business objectives and not just aesthetic elements that make books merely desirable. It means that book covers should be designed as means to multiple ends and not end in themselves. It should be malleable, adaptable and extensible.
From the book cover design, the logo for Digital Wealth Republic was created. DWB wears was created, cause campaigns were adapted, and many other executions.
With the AEF thinking, the book design and marketing are not disconnected but integrated to deliver an holistic brand experience.
IMPACT AND NUMBERS
Within 12 months the book has sold over 20,000 copies across the world, generating over 150 million Naira in Revenue. Many conversations curated from excited customers online points to the fact that the book cover and the extended application of the cover design was a key motivation for purchase, along other variables like title appropriateness, content, affinity with the author, digital campaigns and recommendations. This will mean the book cover and varied adaptations and extensions accounted to about 23% percent of the revenue for the book.
Due to the huge success of the application of AEF on the Digital Wealth book project we were invited to apply the same framework to the Never an Afterthought book project by Imoukhuede, Afolabi Sokpehi, the SSA to President Buhari on Job Creation. The icon we abstracted and extended has so far enabled cohesive marketing and supported the business goals of the author.