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Professional Development – Taking the Cringe out of Author Branding

16 November @ 10:00 - 11:30 GMT

Virtual Event Virtual Event

Does the idea of being an ‘author brand’ make you cringe? Does book marketing fill you with dread? If so, you’re not alone. It can feel awkward, unnatural, or even like selling out. But it doesn’t have to be this way. An authentic author brand will reflect the inspirations and motivations behind your writing, and act as a great basis for creative and engaging promotional work. This will not only help you attract readers but also help you choose marketing activities you’ll enjoy

In this session, communications specialist Anna Caig will discuss why a strong author brand is an essential part of successful book promotion, and how this enables you to find, and build relationships with readers who will appreciate and love your work.


What will this session cover?

The discussion will cover topics including:

  • Practical ways to explore and define an authentic author brand that reflects your values as a creative person
  • How creating a good author brand can, perhaps counterintuitively, reduce the ‘cringe factor’ in your book marketing
  • Using the process of exploring your author brand to uncover a rich seam of ideas for content and messaging
  • Protecting yourself – your author brand is often as much about what you leave out of public-facing content as it is about what you include
  • How to use your author brand to inform an effective marketing strategy



  • Welcome from Francesca Howell, Head of Author Communities
  • Presentation by Anna Caig (60 minutes)
  • Q&A (20minutes)



Send us your questions in advance

If you would like to send questions in advance, email fhowell@societyofauthors.org  with ‘Taking the Cringe’ in the subject header. We will prioritise questions sent in advance and try to answer as many as we can from the audience on the day.



SoA @ Home Fundraising Bookshop

Browse our virtual Bookshop.org and Blackwell’s stores featuring books by authors and speakers taking part in the SoA @ Home Festival. When you make a purchase using our affiliate links. A percentage will go to the Authors’ Contingency Fund, providing hardship grants to authors in financial difficulty.


The Line-Up


Anna Caig – Communications Specialist

Anna Caig has worked in communications for 18 years, specialising in media relations, reputation management and strategic marketing campaigns. She began her training business to support writers to build their brand and reach more readers. She now works with traditionally, indie and self-published writers, as well as helping creatives in any discipline find a wider audience. Since setting up Anna Caig Communications, she has worked with over 250 authors to help them spread the word about their work in a way that is authentic to why they write in the first place.

Anna tutors on the MA Journalism course at The University of Sheffield and is the former Head of Communications at Sheffield City Council. She writes crime and historical fiction, and reviews books for the Sheffield Telegraph and on her blog.

Twitter: @AnnaCaig | Website: www.annacaigcomms.co.uk


Need to know

  • This event will take place on Zoom Meetings
  • Once registered, you will be sent a confirmation email with the Zoom link
  • Attendees will be muted but are welcome to keep their cameras on
  • This event will be recorded and you’ll be able to catch up on our Vimeo channel
  • Attendees have the option to turn on the live-transcript function




Book your place using the registration form below.

All SoA @ Home Professional Development events are free for members but, if you can afford it, we recommend a minimum £5 donation to the Authors’ Contingency Fund to help us support authors facing financial hardship during the health crisis. DONATE HERE

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Financial support for authors in need through the health crisis and beyond

Since March 2020, the Authors’ Contingency Fund has distributed over £1 million in small grants to authors facing financial hardship due to COVID-19.

With at least 57% of authors facing financial losses during the pandemic, we have helped people struggling financially due to contractual, employment and event cancellations, others who have lost income due to illness, and others prevented from working because of caring responsibilities.

As the health crisis continues, applications for grants continue to come in, and our emergency funds are running low.

So, if you are in a position to help, please donate via the link below. If you are an author facing financial hardship, please click here to see if we can help.


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20% off your first year with discount code SOAFESTIVAL20

The Society of Authors is the UK’s biggest trade union for authors – representing more than 11,300 writers, illustrators, translators and other creative practitioners.

Our standard subscription rate is just £26.25 per quarter (£18.50 for students).

As an SoA member, you’ll get:

  • Access to all our SoA @ Home Festival events for free
  • Unlimited one-to-one professional advice
  • Membership of our online and real-world professional networks
  • A range of member-only discounts, including books, insurance and travel
  • And much more.





16 November
10:00 - 11:30 GMT
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Sophia A Jackson