Friday, August 07, 2009

Saving Face

As authors we know that one of the most important things to consider is saving face, and I don't mean that literally. It's very important that an author appears professional, is nice to everyone (even if they don't feel that way on the inside), and behaves like they're following the golden rule to the letter. I'm not saying they should be saints, or that they can't voice their opinion. But battles should be carefully waged, especially when the platform is large or the topic is a hot-button.

Another kink is that these days anyone and everyone can see that one mistake or hear about a little slip almost the moment it comes out of an author's mouth. With the surge in popularity of "living live" people tune into their pcs more than their news on TV. Which means that occasionally what fans/industry professionals see isn't always the truth. (Not that the news is 100% right.) For instance that video of the soldier in Iraq with the puppy. Some said it was real, some said it was fake...either way there was outrage and a sensation. On the flipside that choreagraphed wedding entrance that went viral made brides everywhere sit up and take notice, not to mention millions of others. (But did you notice the little box that blinked up on YouTube to ask for donations for a good cause?) Imagine if your manuscript or book was about to land on the racks or a publishers desk. If a fan or editor Googled you what would they find?

We've all done some things we wish we could take back, especially in those amourous moments of emotion...but recall that once something is on the web it can't disappear. That post that you thought you deleted...it's still lingering somewhere. Which is why it's so important to censor your posts and comments, not to mention what you "put up" for the public to see. You spend hours on your manuscript, so why not use that same knowledge to self-edit a possible disaster?

I'm not saying you shouldn't have an entity on the web. Actually you'd be behind the curve if you didn't, since that's the way to get new readership and attention these days. Writers' works are being discovered by agents/editors because of their author sites and posts, and fans are delighting in "meeting" their idols live on social sites (Facebook, Twitter, MySpace, etc.). The www is the new frontier, and should be explored...just be sure to do so with caution and by playing things smart. And if you intend to have a pen name, make sure you and your counterpart don't converge to the point that followers are scratching their heads about why they like you so much. Some invisibility is okay (especially if it's for a cause or supports your work), but remember why you're on the web...to sell yourself and an image that bolsters support.



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2 comments:

Kelsey Card said...

Hi Skylar,

A well thought out post. I completely agree it can really difficult to not get caught up in hot-button discussions. I always try to keep in mind the lesson my mother taught me: if you wouldn’t want it said about you, or to you, then don’t say it.

Kelsey

Tales of magic, adventure, and romance

Jessica Lee said...

Great advice, Skylar and well put.
www.trampyvamps.com would also like to pass on to star-crossed romance the "One Lovely Blog Award" Please stop by and accept your reward for bringing us wonderful post and interviews to feed all our FF&P cravings. When you pick up your reward, just don't forget to pass it on to other well-deserving blogs of your choice. :)