Author publicity has its own set of writing 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. Ha! You say? Yes, we all get them and they far outnumber the amount of acceptances. Yet, I couldn’t understand what was wrong with my compositions when others had already read the pieces and commented that they were spectacular.
I’m compulsive and needed to know what was wrong. I dissected my writing, with the help of a friend, word for word, letter by letter, and you’ll never guess what I found.
I wasn’t as compulsive with accuracy as I had first thought.
Letters missing or one little letter where it shouldn’t be, misspelled words, commas misplaced or just plain missing, quotation marks missing or showing up where they shouldn't be: Typos are every writer’s nemesis.
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, and depending on others to catch errors makes a writer lazy.
If you think the quality of your work has nothing to do with author publicity, please, please, think again. Anything that you put out into the public arena can be categorized as author promotion.
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 I send out in public, what I offer as a picture of me as a writer, is a picture of how well I have perfected my craft. What and how I write and present is my public persona, author publicity, whether positive or negative.
I don’t want to be known as a person 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 I aspire to be, or at least among them. I surely will not reach those heights – and not make an income from my writing – if I 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 stick to you like glue and ask you for more of your writing.
And 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 magazine.
Your blog is your reputation.
Then 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 other purpose but to make you look like a disgruntled complainer. Is that how you would handle your author promotion?
Your own words will 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.
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.
For those of you who wish to get help from other writers and professionals in the industry, or you who wish to receive book reviews and other publicity, Book Town is a great place to mingle and get the help you need.