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Writer’s Platform
end up right in their inboxes. For instance, as a book distributor considers authors to
recommend for an Amazon.com promotion, he’ll likely skip someone who’d been bad-
mouthing him all over the Internet.
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Stay professional. Every bit of information you put out under your name is an audition
with potential readers and agents. You’re always on stage, performing in front of a vast
audience. You’ll want to say things that are consistent with your brand. Here are some
examples of what I’d call a lack of professionalism:
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Once I visited an author’s blog before committing to buying his books. There I
found a heap of racist comments that he’d posted.
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Another author grumbled in an interview that he didn’t give a damn about his
readers, whom he considered a bunch of uneducated fools.
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Yet another author turned awkwardly aggressive in his responses to reviewers
on his book’s Amazon page. Later he came to his senses and deleted his own
comments, but the readers’ shocked reactions to his aggression remained for all
to see.
Your fans will need to understand that no matter what you do online (blogging, engaging
in social media, running a coaching service), you’re still the same person. They need to see
consistency. They need to feel that they know who you are and what you would and wouldn’t
do. They need to trust their understanding of you as a human being.
What Is and Isn’t a Brand
Branding is among the most inconsistently defined terms in marketing, so let’s take a moment
to discuss it.
When a fan describes your work, your brand helps him distinguish you from every other
writer on the market. If your brand is too similar to another, you risk being identified via that
person.
Stephen King is an excellent example of how this happens. When a new writer appears with a
talent for suspenseful writing, he’s compared to Stephen King. This may be flattering at first,
but it reinforces Stephen King’s brand and diminishes the brand of this new writer. When
people read an article comparing this writer to Stephen King, they’ll remember Stephen King.
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