Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Your Image

If you have published your book, you will want to find readers. More than you might have ever imagined, you will be promoting yourself everywhere…from the many places found on the www, to newspapers, book signings, radio and television interviews (let’s think big) and more. In no time a simple internet search can bring up all kinds of information and pictures of you and your book.

To your friends and family, you are most likely loved and accepted, but to the rest of the world, (at first anyway) you are a name on a book. Creating your author (or public) image is important, and there are a few things to keep in mind.

Pictures of you hanging out with the guys, drinking beer and partying hard is just as bad as a picture of you at a cluttered table with laundry on the floor or inappropriately dressed. Now, if you think I am exaggerating, take a few minutes to look up authors online, on facebook, Goodreads or Amazon. Don’t say I didn’t warn you.

I’m not telling you to run out and get a $200 professional head shot. With today’s digital cameras you can ask someone to take a ‘nice’ picture of you that can be used.

OK, good, now we have a ‘nice’ picture.

What about the rest of your image? One of the first things you should do is separate your personal facebook page from your author/book page. Readers might not appreciate what goes on between you and your friends as much as you might think. Watch your language and what you post. Try and keep it book related or at least in good taste. Have fun relating to your followers, and just keep it clean.

If you have a blog or a website, keep in mind that first impressions are important so you’ll want to have some order or structure to you pages. Think about what the viewer will see when he or she first arrives on your page. Make sure your sites are user friendly. Place the ‘follow button’ close to the top of your page where it is visible if you want people to follow you. Limit the number of posts per page (2-3 is enough), I have seen blogs that had one endless page. No one wants to scroll down more than a page or two; it’s easier to click on a link to get to what you want. A search button is also very helpful.

The media kit makes a good template if you are not sure what to post on your author page. Make sure all of the elements are included, either in categories (or pages) throughout your site or if you are limited to a single page on a joint site simply place all items on your single information page. If you do not have or know what a media kit is, check here: .
If you are part of an author group then you will want to be sure that everyone maintains a certain level of professionalism. One bad or inappropriate page can be enough to turn readers off the site all together. If you are uncertain of HOW to create your media pages/sites ASK. There are enough people out there who are willing to help. I’ll gladly help any way I can.

Take the image you project seriously...because your readers most certainly will.

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