By C. Hope Clark –
Are these two tools part of your branding? Aren’t sure? Then they’re probably not. But why are these two traits so important when you’re selling your words and not a public performance?
Jane Friedman and Porter Anderson recently established a newsletter on the publishing industry titled THE HOT SHEET (http://hotsheetpub.com/). I was a Beta reader as they worked out the kinks. It’s intensely smart, as would be expected from these two industry brains, but in a recent issue they addressed this issue of what readers expect in an author:
“The scientific finding from Nielsen: Authors, in general, are among the public’s fave people in the entertainment world. Only TV and film actors score more highly with fans, which means that authors are rolling in ahead of sports figures and musical artists. What’s more, fans of authors like their authors more than fans of other types of people like their icons — even athletes are not as highly thought of by their followers . . . consumers perceive authors to be successful, influential, and dependable . . . dependability is strongly correlated with high sales. And demonstrating your dependability in terms of online savvy is a smart move.”
Most of the authors I know fall into one of two categories:
1) They write a lot and promote when they have a new release or an upcoming event; or
2) They promote one book a lot and are slow in putting out new releases.
That makes both inconsistent and less reliable, and according to that Nielsen report cited in THE HOT SHEET, makes those writers give the appearance of being less successful, influential, and dependable.
So what does that mean for you . . . the burgeoning, struggling writer? It means you write and market each and every day. You appear to always be on the move, always producing, always available to the reader. It’s hard, but doing otherwise these days when the competition is steep and the books cheap, will leave you in a lot of writers’ dust – where readers won’t be able to find you.
BIO – C. Hope Clark is editor of FundsforWriters.com and author of two mystery series. South Carolina mysteries by a South Carolina author. Written from the banks of Lake Murray and the edge of Edisto Beach. www.chopeclark.com