Your Public Persona
Author publicity has its own set of rules. Author promotion is another name that applies.
Something I noticed when I first began submitting stories for publication was that I got a lot of rejections. I couldn’t understand what was wrong with my writing when others had already read the pieces and said they were spectacular.
I’m compulsive and needed to know what was wrong. I dissected some of my rejected pieces, with the help of a friend, word for word, letter by letter, and you’ll never guess what we found.
I wasn’t as compulsive as I had first thought.
Letters missing or one little letter where it shouldn’t be, or misspelled words, or commas misplaced or just plain missing: Typos. Now I look at everything I send out or post on the Net.
Imperfect writing and typing gets rejected. That’s unless you happen upon a benevolent editor who likes your submission and who will correct your errors. My advice: Never count on that. It seldom happens. Too much good and perfect writing exists and they won’t bother with a piece of writing unless it’s near perfect.
Never let your guard down when rooting out those imperfections. Place it high on your list of writing rules.
If you think the quality of your work has nothing to do with author publicity, please think again. Anything that you put out into the public arena can be categorized as author promotion.
Would you promote yourself to be a second rate writer?
I can’t say that I don’t make typos anymore; I do, and I still miss a few. But what occurred to me was what anyone sends out in public, what they offer as a picture of themselves as a writer, is a picture of how well they have perfected their craft. What and how they write and present is their public persona, author publicity, whether positive or negative.
Exceptions may be when an electronic transmission of a body of writing gets garbled and drops a word or two. Or the publication’s production people make typos or other errors in your work.
Every writer needs to create a good image, and you’ll create one whether or not you believe that your submissions are considered author publicity.
No one wants to be known as a writer whose work is fraught with errors. No editor wants to read such gobble-de-gook. They regularly read the best of the best – and that is what a writer should aspire to be, or at least among the best. Many will not reach those heights—and not make an income from writing—if they submit prose that is impossible to get through in one easy read.
An editor doesn’t have the time to sit over a piece and decipher what the writer is trying to say because they can’t read it in the first place. Make them happy and they will ask for more of your work.
Then, if you think Web sites and blogs don’t matter? Suppose you send off a nearly perfect story and the editor loves it. You can bet they will check out your Web site and your blog (you’d better have one in today’s market) to see if you’re capable of rendering positive attention to yourself, and to the publicity of their publication.
Your website blog is your reputation.
So the editor goes to your blog and sees it is nothing but a rendering of yesterday’s headaches and a lot of bellyaching about everyone and everything and it generally serves no purpose but to make you look like a disgruntled complainer. Is that how you would handle your author promotion?
Your own words can undermine you. What could an editor expect you to do for them?
We’re writers. Stories, poetry, and information about craft are all we should be putting out into the public as we build author publicity.
Our private lives should be publicized at a minimum. Reserve something of yourself for that great publicity interview, if you get that far.
At this moment, do you know how an editor might perceive you if they happened upon your stories and postings? If you’re serious about a writing career, think about it.
In building your public persona, make every word count.
Follow the writing rules. Author publicity and author promotion are one and the same, and you will create it with every word you place in a public forum.
Please visit Mary Deal’s website for more wonderful articles like this one: Write Any Genre.