Person & Personality & Persona, Oh My! Author Brand & Social Media Interaction

Swimming Hole

  • Author brand.

The romantic in you might object to this very earthly term. However, unless you don’t care about establishing a connection with readers, or becoming a writer that writes for a living — you should understand what an author brand means.

Think about two-three well known writers. Choose your favorite ones. What is the first thing that comes to your mind? What do you feel when you think about these writers and their books?

“The sum total of these impressions can be thought of as the author brand each writer has cultivated.”

  • How do you build yours?

Author branding expert Dave Chesson advocates for “sharing your authentic personality and motivation with your readers.” Sure, your readers’ knowledge of you as a living breathing person may help establish trust.

Beware of revealing too much, though, especially when it comes to social media. Author  Jeff Somers warns,

“Do not, under any circumstances, believe for a moment that your social media should actually represent you as a person. You should have a persona and a brand that you control and can shape it at will.”

What would you rather share: your personality, or your persona? Are you tired of all this “author-brand-and-social-media-domination” stuff? Would you prefer to just write?

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Image: Ernest Lawson. Swimming Hole, c. 1910. Oil on canvas, Overall: 39 7/8 x 50 in. (101.3 x 127 cm). BF496. Public Domain.

 

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Is Professional Writing Doomed?

Tarring the Boat (Le Bateau goudronné)

  • Is there future in freelance writing?

Freelance copy/content writing that has to do with selling or marketing is a different story. But what about writing (produced by writers to make a living) that aims at informing, or merely entertaining?

Magazine articles and newspaper articles fall under this category, but so do short stories, novels, books of poetry, etc.

“There is so much wonderful writing on the internet, which is free. Eventually, writing will be like musical recordings. Everyone will have access to everything. … The world is changing–has changed–considerably. Many excellent writers give away 200-page books for free–really excellent. Digitization is creating an entire new world.” — RK, Bob Bly‘s Facebook friend

  • Is the internet killing professional writing?

Back in 2008 Bob Bly interviewed writer Harlan Ellison, and the latter blamed the internet for making life a lot harder for professional writers. Mr. Ellison criticized the “slovenliness of thinking” on the web as well as the “slacker-gen philosophy and belief today that everything should be free.”

“With all the sites publishing articles and short stories for
which authors are not paid, and which readers don’t pay to read —
well, what would you expect?”

  • Do success stories still happen?

Notwithstanding (or in part thanks to?) the changes and challenges brought on by the internet, Kindle, etc. — yes, success stories still happen.

“Last month, Lara Prescott was preparing to graduate from her three-year creative writing fellowship at the University of Texas. Two weeks later, she is sitting on book deals worth at least $2m (£1.5m), after publishers on both sides of the Atlantic battled to get their hands on her first novel.”

Will you write for the love of writing, in other words be an amateur? Will you hold on to your dream of writing for a living? Will you be the next success story?

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Image: Édouard Manet. Tarring the Boat (Le Bateau goudronné), July–August 1873. Oil on canvas, Overall: 19 11/16 x 24 1/8 in. (50 x 61.2 cm). BF166. Public Domain.

On Wealth, Poverty, & Vermeer’s Light

Все картины Яна Вермеера 3

  • Is fifteen a big number? How about forty three? Or thirty six? How does one measure wealth? Or success?

Johannes Vermeer had fifteen children. He was forty three years old when he died. He produced relatively few paintings: some sources say thirty four, some — thirty six.

One of the greatest painters of the Dutch Golden Age passed away in poverty leaving his family to deal with debts. In his work he frequently used very expensive pigments.

No one paints light like Johannes Vermeer.

If you want more, Essential Vermeer has pretty much got it all.

And if you’re still looking for poetic inspiration, here’s a magic word for you: grisaille. Isn’t it lovely?

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Image: The Milkmaid, Johannes Vermeer, c. 1660, Public Domain

 

 

 

 

 

On June Poets & Friends We’ve Never Met

Landscape (Paysage)

Happy Birthday to my friend Janet whose poetry and photography never cease to amaze and delight. If you haven’t discovered Another Porch yet, stop by it today. And every day. Many happy returns!

  • Yesterday another special friend of mine had his birthday.

On June 6 Russia celebrated the 219th birthday of her greatest poet Alexander Pushkin (June 6, 1799–February 10, 1837). Here are just ten of all the countless reasons why Pushkin is great.

To me the incredible thing about Pushkin is that no matter what might come your way, whether you experience joy, sadness, or anything in between — turn to him, and you’ll find what you’re looking for.

His lines just pop up in my head, and I think, yes, that’s exactly what I needed to hear right now. Learning poetry by heart as part of the school curriculum sure has benefits. So does growing older.

Have you got the best friend you’ve never met? A favorite poet you “talk” to?

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Image: Pierre-Auguste Renoir. Landscape (Paysage), 1916. Oil on canvas, Overall: 18 11/16 x 22 1/16 in. (47.5 x 56 cm). BF818. Public Domain.