A Publisher's Conversation with Authors: Who Are You?

It is Tuesday. Time to tall turkey. Monday's madness is over, and Wednesday will take us over the hump, so Tuesday it is--for some serious discussion with authors. Tuesday talks mean to address authors in waiting and self-published authors who would like to go a more traditional route or who would at least like to take their steps with a publisher by their side.

Today's topic addresses an author's self-presentation, the look-and-feel of your work and yourself. Here are some things to think about as you go about designing the cover of your book (even if a professional designer does the work, you will need to approve it), putting together a website, deciding what social platforms you will use, designing advertising materials, deciding where and how to promote your book, and more.

  • Who are you? 
    • What are your strengths?
      • If your strengths are in the networking area, then you might set up meetings with local organizations interested in your topic to discuss the topic of your book and share information about the book. (You may need an "in" for each organization, but if you are a networker, you probably already belong to many.)
      • If your strengths are in teaching or preaching, for promoting your book you might conduct webinars or seminars on the topic of your book (mentioning your book, of course, and even selling it at the end of each session); or, in addition to, you might conduct in-person events and sell your book there and/or participant in television or radio programs and interviews.
      • If you like sales, there are all kinds of options for selling your book, depending upon its topic, ranging from county fairs, to PTA meetings, to bazaars, to gift shops, you name it.
      • Are you more cerebral? Then, a blog might be your best approach, or Face Book, or Twitter or all of them.
      • Are you visually oriented? Think Instagram.
      • Are you go at putting together video? The Youtube and TikTok are options.
    • What do you find fun?
      • Being outdoors and interacting with people there? Then, look for the fairs and bazaars and networking picnics.
      • Nice dinners at good restaurants, with small groups, or just a couple other people? Then think networking opportunities.
      • Writing? Well, you are an author...Think about writing articles, guest posts for others' blogs, a blog of your own, and more books.
    • Who do you like to be with?
      • Other authors? Then, discuss with them the ways you can work together as a group to promote your books. Most regional areas have one or more author groups. Find one where authors write on similar topics to yours and undertake activities you find interesting and helpful.
    • What colors do you like -- and what colors represent you?
      • Seriously. Consistency, especially if you have a book (the cover has color), blog, website, and other platforms, is important. A certain color or combinations of colors will help readers think of you when they see the color(s). For example, my late husband loved orange poppies, and now not only whenever I see a poppy but any orange flower, his face and memories of him flood to the surface. You want that to happen with your book.
      • Think about the meaning of the colors you have selected as representing you. Are they the ones you want to represent your work? In most cases, work = you = work. But not always. I think of purple as representing me, and a lot of my book covers do revolve around the cover purple. However, for purposes of the publishing house, rainbow colors were chosen -- because we publish books not only of purple-oriented authors but of authors who like colors of all sorts.
  • What is your message?
    • What is the message of your book? How do you best get the message out? To what people? Via what vehicles? Those answers will guide you in your best promotional approaches.
    • Who is your target audience? How do they get their information? That is where you want to be!
  • How do you want to be perceived?
    • How do you want to be perceived by your future readers?
    • How do you want to be perceived by other authors?
    • How do you want to be perceived by the publishing industry?
    • What is central to all these perceptions? After all, you do not want to appear schizophrenic! This central perception is how you will want to pitch your media outreach, how you want to design your platform, and especially how you write your book and anything else.

    So, who are you? 

    The bottom line is that the time it will take you to answer these questions is time that will be well invested. The more consistent you are, the more readers will know what to expect from you, and that is good. The more consistent you are, the better your message will resonate.

    Lesson for today's Tuesday talk: Know thyself. That is the only way by which your readers can get to know you accurately and become endeared to you, your writing, and your message.

     Read more posts about publishing HERE.

     (Book available from MSI Press LLC; discount of 25% with coupon code FF25; currently on sale for $5, but that offer will not last long).


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