When your booklet is finished and on the market, and your audience is established, that audience will view you in a particular way. They will associate you with your booklet’s subject matter. They will create a little box for you in their mind, and that is where their sense of who you are will live. Anything presented to them outside of that box could pose a problem for you in the way of sales.
Why Your Booklet Is An Extension Of You
Big companies and big name people work very hard to create a particular image in the minds of their target audience or market. Companies create everything from logos with which to be identified, to publicity campaigns to get their audience to believe certain things about their company.
Big name people create publicity around themselves for the same reason. When a person is the product, such as in the case of a singer or actor, they have to create an image for their audience that coincides with that audience’s belief of who that person is and what they can do. Anything to the contrary can cause that image to become tarnished, and the audience to become disenchanted.
Your booklet is your product, and from the moment you make that first sale you begin to build an audience – a market that is made up of people who will view you and your product in a particular way. While you are not your product, you will be closely associated with it, almost as if you were. This is because you wrote your booklet. The content came from you. It was created because of your unique experience. And so your audience will view your booklet as an extension of who you are.
A Well Known Author’s Simple Mistake
Recently, a well known author with a very large audience made a simple mistake. It’s one anyone could make, but he should have known better. He posted something to Twitter about a talk show he watched – a talk show that is known for having a particular biased view.
Normally, the average person could post about their favorite talk shows, radio shows, television programs, movies and books, and there would be no consequences whatsoever. But when you’re an author, even if you’re brand new and just starting out, you’re in the public eye. And the public has their own opinions about who you are. You’re not allowed to do certain things in the minds of that public, because it doesn’t equate with your subject matter.
Your audience has a little profile of who you are in their minds, and often that profile coincides with your audience. They believe you are one of them. They may not even be fully conscious of this belief, but it’s there none the less. And the moment they find out that you’re not like them, that you’re different, they will feel disassociated from you, and possibly even betrayed.
Your Public Image And Your Personal Life
That well known author is now trying to defend their viewpoint to their audience, but it may be too little too late. It wasn’t a bad thing for the author to watch the talk show. The crime was in telling their audience about it, when it didn’t relate in any way to this author’s subject matter. Some of their audience may share this author’s viewpoint, but it is certain there will be many who won’t.
Your audience will tolerate certain things about you – such as your marital status or how many children you have – as long as that doesn’t go against your subject matter. If you’ve been happily married for 30 years and have never been divorced, your audience might have a problem with you being the author of a booklet on divorce survival. Likewise, if you have children but they are all biological, a booklet on adoption may not go over too well.
But, basically speaking, your audience will tolerate certain everyday, mundane things about you as a person. And some of those things might actually be helpful to your sales – such as being a family man – because it creates a good image of who you are as a person outside of your writing.
The bottom line is that you have a public image to uphold, and you need to be careful about how much personal information about yourself you let out – especially online. It’s ok to watch a talk show, and if that talk show is Oprah, which is pretty mainstream, you can probably mention it to your audience will little repercussions. But, if you’re watching a talk show that always has a particular bias or slant, it might not be such a good thing to mention it, unless you know your audience shares your point of view.
As an author, you have a public image and a personal life. There will be some grey area, but most of it should be black and white.
To your riches!
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