P is for Presence


P is for Presence


More and more agents/publishers are pushing their clients to establish some form of online presence, and to me it makes perfect sense.  These days you have to approach your writing career as an entrepreneurship, always searching for ways to broaden your exposure and brand, which should begin to happen even before you’ve officially been discovered.  But let’s be perfectly clear, a great online presence won’t directly lead to representation by an agent or publisher – nothing will ever replace solid writing or story-telling – but it could help swing the vote in your favor.

So how do you create a web presence?  A topic this big could actually be a whole series of blog posts, and that’s not actually what I’d like to discuss anyway.  I’m more interested in the type of presence you’ll want to perpetuate.  How our various sites (Blog, Facebook, Twitter, etc) look matters almost as much as the content we write, and it all says something about who you are…or want to be perceived as.  Do you wish to come off as light and happy, dark and moody, serious and straight-forward, or joking and irreverent?  Does that persona match what you write? 

I’ll be honest…Cruising Altitude pretty much mirrors my personality…but not what I write for publication, and I see that as a problem long-term.  The way I intend to remedy that is to create my own website (utilizing the creative mind of Tiana Smith) that is darker, edgier, and a tad foreboding to match the style of books I write, but I’ll keep my link to my Cruising Altitude blog so my future readers can continue to get to know the man in the shadows.  I’ll do the same with my Twitter account and my eventual Facebook author page.

Tell me…how do you think you are perceived via your blog?  Leave a comment with that answer and I’ll return the favor by letting you know if I agree (from one man’s perspective).

30 comments

  1. I always hoped my blog would be me, rather than a reflection of my work. The thing I worry about is my blog talks to other writers about writing, when hopefully at some point I'd want to be attracting readers of my novella (and other stuff - fingers crossed!) It's that cross over I'm unsure about. At what point do I open myself up further? I really don't want to start another blog - my current one was hard enough to establish!

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  2. I like to think the blog is about the author, the website is about the books. I never would have thought you wrote dark, edgy novels based on your blog...so I see your point. Me? I write humorous women's fiction. Hopefully, my blog reflects that.

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  3. Ooo, your new website sounds like it will be spookily fascinating! Can't wait to check it out when you have it done. :)

    I think via my blog that I'm probably perceived as pessimistic and colorless.*

    *note sarcasm

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  4. I like your blog and I can't wait to see what Tiana comes up with for your website! I'm going to ask for her help when it comes time to fix my blog/website as well :) As for my web presence, I always try to present myself in a professional yet lighter-hearted manner. I want people who visit my blog to think "Yeah, she could be an author someday" but also "She's fun and easy to talk to." Here's hoping, anyway!

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  5. I'd like to think my blog reflects the real me ... alternating between funny & serious, and yammering about subjects I'd be likely to chat about with friends. Although I ventured into blogging to establish that presence you're talking about, my intentions have shifted more toward simply enjoying the people I've come to know here. (Besides, if all two of my followers bought my book when it gets published, I don't think it's gonna make that much difference ...)

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  6. Eek! I hate these self assessment exercises. :)

    I think my blog represents me and kind of represents (sometimes) the edgy YA stuff I prefer to write. Or at least I think the girl on my blog looks edgy. :D

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  7. I have had trouble with a blog identity. My books are dark, spooky, and...I think...funny - like in a dark, sarcastic way. On my blog, though, I try to present an upbeat, positive, and more open persona. Idk if I want the two worlds to collide, though I never considered that would be an issue. You may have a point though and I too would like a Website that is all book.

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  8. Eeeek! I think I'm perceived as a writer, a reader, and a person obsessed with tech. I've worked since the beginning of 2012 to build more items in specifically for readers.

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  9. Wow, great topic DL. i think I am perceived as someone who is on a journey of healing and wants to share that journey with others.
    Karen

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  10. Because I write more than just the mystery genre, I have to go a bit more broader but I think you're right, you page should fit your persona.

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  11. Presents?!?!?

    Yay! I love presents!!!



    Oh, wait.

    >sigh<

    Never mind...

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  12. Hopefully, my blog comes across that I am first and foremost, a middle-grade children's writer. Adventurous, chirpy, sentimental and a tad bit silly. : )


    Even though some of my other smaller pieces of writing don't reflect this. My current middlegrade novel (12+)is my priority.

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  13. I think my blog kind of represents the fun, sarcastic, spunky katie that writes romantic comedies. I really should layer it somehow with my YA urban fantasies but I'll cross that bridge when I come to it I suppose;) Great 'P' post!

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  14. I think this is crucial for writers to think about what their site says about them, though a lot easier said than done. When I was doing my own site/blog I put a lot of thought into it. I wanted something that looked professional, yet still young (which is tricky to balance) since my audience is younger and I write for girls ages 10-16ish. So I wanted it to be feminine as well. I didn't want anything to detract or seem out of place - I wanted everything to look clean and planned out. So, we'll see if I succeeded.

    Darker and edgier? I can't wait! It sounds exciting. And this will let me use colors and fonts that I don't typically get to use :) I'm already thinking about how we could do a gradient effect on your font so that the top changes from black to red at the bottom and kinda like dripping blood ... lol. Too morbid? That might portray more "horror" and less "crime novel". Hmmm, I can't wait to see your ideas!

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  15. Woah, what does my blog say about me? Hmmm...well, I'm very transparent, and I hope that shows in my posts. I hope it reflects that I'm into all kinds of stuff, from Vikings to homeschooling. I HOPE it says I'm an excellent writer!

    And you're SO right. I've heard of authors getting rejected for lack of online platform, BUT if the book isn't ready to go, it'll be an even faster rejection!

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  16. I hope I'm not perceived as overly cheesy and hyper. Sometimes I feel I act *too* happy online, LOL. Though I am happy with how I'm building my online platform... it is crucial to have that presence--the more I get into the industry, the more I'm learning how essential it is.

    Great post, DL!

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  17. Hmmm...how do I think I am perceived? Wow, good question, one that I should have an answer to off the top of my head. But instead, I'm not sure. I HOPE I'm perceived as a writer seriously pursuing a dream, a writer with an open mind about things going on in the publishing world, therefore open to the different routes available to me...I guess, I hope I'm perceived as a writer to be followed and read when the time comes that my pursuit to publishness reaches step one: being published. After that, my pursuit to publishness will segue to the "after" fun, work, drama, good times...or so I hope others will perceive.

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  18. Great question DL. I would hope people see me as funny, interesting and less OCD obsessed with science-fiction than I really am. ;)
    @Annalisa that's a challenge.
    - Maurice Mitchell
    The Geek Twins | Film Sketchr
    @thegeektwins | @mauricem1972

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  19. Interesting post! I am not yet published, but I would hope people get a sense of an authentic, fresh voice. My A to Z posts are all over the map, but I mostly blog about music and writing (as music is a huge part of my life and my fiction).

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  20. I only know how to be me and I think that comes through in my writing and my blog. My books are fun and adventurous and I'd like to think my blog is the same.

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  21. Ooh, great post. I'm not sure how I come across on my blog - I'm going for friendly and curious, but I think I might come across as taking myself too seriously sometimes. :) That's probably something I should figure out, huh?

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  22. I have no idea how I'm perceived. Probably more serious than I want to be, but then again, it's not like I write comedy. I write YA and speculative fiction.

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  23. I think I'm pretty much me on all the places I'm at. More outgoing online than I am in real life, but pretty close. I have been thinking how to alter my online presence somewhat to aim it more at readers than writers - but that's going to be a slooooooow change!

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  24. My novels are thrillers, but that's not what I had a burning ambition to do... it just happened that way, though I do love it. I don't think my blog reflects that genre, I think it just says that I enjoy writing. I wouldn't like to be set in a mould as there are other things I would like to achieve, but then again, maybe we do need to "brand" ourselves if we are hoping to get published. You've got me thinking - never a bad thing!

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  25. I actually do have a proper work blog for my freelance writing, but find I have nothing to update it with, or nothing I really want my clients to know about :P In any case, your new blog sounds like a great idea, all the best!

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  26. I like your blog, presence etc...but I understand why you want something different.

    I can't wait to see it. It sounds exciting! :)

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  27. Your blog is great, so I'm glad you're going to keep it "as is". I had no idea your work was dark.
    I think my blog posts reflect a bit of my writing, which adds add a tab bit of humor to some not necessarily humourous situations.

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  28. I suppose I unintentionally designed my blog around my own personality, which is my curiosity with *the life journey* we are all swept up in. I like to think I place a lot of importance on our similarities.

    I've often asked myself what it is that I feel I have to offer the writing community on my blog. I don't post writing/publishing advice, because I don't feel I have the knowledge to back it up. Though, I greatly appreciate it in other blogs I read regularly.

    So the answer is, I don't really know what I have to offer. I pose LIFE questions, which I feel we all struggle with, and hope that my readers laugh, cry and THINK because of it.

    I look forward to your new website, DL! I will say though, when I follow an author's blog because I've enjoyed their book(s), it is because I am interested in the AUTHOR'S personality, NOT some persona they've invented to match their chosen genre. Even the author photo for the book covers are doing the same. I don't get it.

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  29. I'm not really sure if I have a blog as much as just a mashup of stuff, but whatever it is I hope it is funny and meaningful.

    I wish I had more time to devote to my twitter, facebook and pinterest accounts.

    Love your "P" post BTW!

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  30. Interesting and timely since I have been wondering where to take my blog once A-Z is over. My writing blog is fairly new and 90-95% has been my flash fiction with a few side posts on misc writing topics.

    I need to concentrate on my WIP, so how to transition my blog to support it, keep my current readers and hopefully gain more.

    Maybe today's word should have been QUANDRY? ;-)

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