Should you wear a mask when in public?
Should you ever discuss the Great Pumpkin?
What’s the biggest benefit of having a public persona?
Even if you don’t (yet) give interviews, or do book signings, or deliver keynote speeches, etc., it’s not too early to think about your public author persona.
If you’re a writer, if you have a blog, if you’re active on social media — your public persona will protect you, and help you find the audience for your writing.
Here’s more on developing your author persona, and brand.
Go for it.
Image: Pierre-Auguste Renoir. Study of Girls’ Heads (Étude de têtes de jeunes filles), c. 1893. Oil on canvas, Overall: 16 1/4 x 12 11/16 in. (41.3 x 32.2 cm). BF474. Public Domain.
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.”
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.