Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Your Public Persona

Your Public Persona

            I know that, when Harmonica Joe’s Reluctant Bride is released, I will need to promote it by visiting blogs, doing interviews, posting on Facebook, maybe a Tweet or two and announcing its release on the loops.  I will be on my best behavior,  We all know how important it is to be pleasant and forthright without coming off seeming arrogant or aloof but what may escape us from time to time is that our behavior, attitude and acknowledgement show up every time we enter the social media.
            When other authors blog or post excerpts, do you acknowledge them or comment on their work or their blog?  When someone compliments you, do you thank him or her?  Sometimes readers and other authors have questions about your writing habits, your work or your opinion on a given subject.  In cyber space, it’s easy to ignore them if you’re in a hurry or you don’t think it’s important.  You can always say you didn’t notice that message or you were busy and meant to come back later but forgot. 
            We are our own ambassadors and publicists.  The impression we leave by our words or lack thereof will be remembered.  If you show distain or make a snarky remark, it’s there forever and so is the impression you leave.  We all have bad days.  Day jobs can be hazardous to your emotional and mental health.  Families can be relentlessly demanding.  Emergencies and health issues happen regardless of our plans or wishes.  However, just like TV and movie personalities, we have to stand guard over the things we say when we’re involved in the social network.  It is evident from what we’ve witnessed from some personalities that it is quite possible to be your own worst enemy when you say something you can’t take back or you ignore someone who just might be your next avid fan.
            The cyber world is a huge arena with the power to help you increase your fan base and make sales or it can destroy your public image and your reputation.  It all depends on you and the persona you want to portray to the public.  Now go, Grasshopper, make friends, increase your sales and get a standing ovation from your fans.  Yoda has spoken.


Tina Donahue said...

Great post, Sarah. For a writer to ignore a positive review, fan or visitor to their site is unforgivable in my opinion. The public gives us their time. They embrace our work. We need to acknowledge that always.

Sarah J. McNeal said...

Thanks, Tina. Also being pleasant to people even when you might want to put your cyber fingers around their throats and squeeze really tight. LOL

Redameter said...

You are absolutely right. Everyone should be thanked, and remembered.

What I find hard to do is remember my bloggging. I don't like blogging because of this. It is hard to remember urls and the people you sign up with to do this. Some never remind you, some always do. And I love the latter of course.

As you get older it is harder to remember things, and if I ever forget to thank or reply even, I hope you can forgive an old woman. It isn't intentional.

Love and blessings

Delaney Diamond said...

It is important to interact with people. As a reader, I pay attention to it, and I try to make sure I do it as an author.

Like Rita mentioned, sometimes you may forget or miss a comment, and hopefully, the public won't judge you too harshly because of one incident.

Sarah J. McNeal said...

Rita, I feel the same way about blogging except that it's more about finding interesting topics.
I think I'm actually older than you, Rita, so you might want to cool it on that old wman talk. LOL
Thanks for coming by and leaving a comment. I remember those who support me.

Sarah J. McNeal said...

Delaney, you are always supportive and interactive. I have never seen you ignore someone or neglect to comment. Thank you so much for coming by.

Anonymous said...

Great post, Sarah. I'm not an author, but this can apply to we book bloggers, as well. I'm sorely lacking in keeping up with replying to comments, loops and other blogs, and this was a nice reminder for me to get it together and get my butt in gear.

Sarah J. McNeal said...

Actually, I think you do a wonderful job of commenting and supporting, Liz. I always appreciate the way you chat with us. Thank you for coming by to see me on the old blog here.

Fiona McGier said...

Good advice, Sarah. In person I have even more of a tendency to insert my foot into my mouth, due to being so opinionated. I try to remember to be polite, and that some people get offended by how blunt I can be, but I am an honest person, and it's hard to not speak my mind.

In the cyber-world, it's even worse because as you point out, words can live on forever, long after you wish you hadn't hit "send". I hope I can remember your advice in the future, oh wise woman of the tribe we call authors!

Michael said...

What a great post, Sarah. I try to be the good one and give my support to everyone.

A writers world is very lonely! We need one another to lean on. :)

I'll promote the hell outta your book. Lets make a date on Rawiyas blog when its ready to come out!

Virginia C said...

Great post, Sarah! It's not always easy to be diplomatic, polite, personable, and professional--especially when you are dealing with the public in any capacity. For most of my working life, I have been a customer service representative of some sort. When you work as a CSR in a call-center facility, your calls are monitored and graded. You have a script to follow, and certain key elements to implement in each customer contact. All of this has to be done as quickly as possible. You have an average call-handling time that must be met or you will lose your job. One of my most memorable calls came from a "mad-bomber" who was threatening to blow up our call center. I went through my script, advising him three times (required) that if he did not desist in speaking in that manner that I would have to disconnect the call. Of course, he did not cease his profanity and threats, so I advised him that I was disconnecting the call (required). I was marked "wrong" for the call because I did not say "thank you" (required) to the man cursing me and threatening to blow up my workplace with me in it! We constantly received bizzare customer calls. Some were funny, but most were extremely disheartening. The moral of this story? Remember to thank the "mad bomber"!

Sarah J. McNeal said...

Fiona, I think we all have said things we wish we had kept to ourselves or had worded differently. I try to be mindful. I like the "author tribe"--good one, Fiona.

Sarah J. McNeal said...

Thank you for that kind offer, Michael. As soon as I have the release, I'll be looking you up for sure. Thanks!

Sarah J. McNeal said...

My Lord, Virginia, it's a wonder you can get home from a day at work with any sanity left. I'd be gettin' a personal relationship with whiskey or Valium. I guess you know about being polite under the worst of circumstances. Thank you for coming by to read my blog. I really appreciate it.

Cheryl Pierson said...

Hi Sarah,
GREAT ADVICE!I try to answer everyone individually when they comment on a post or any kind of announcement. You are always so polite --you should never worry about that!Great post--I enjoyed this.


Sarah J. McNeal said...

Thanks so much for coming by to see me and read my blogarama. Thanks for the compliment, too, my precious. LOL