Be Your Best Self

When you are marketing your work, you need to be yourself. We’re not talking about the overly flawed self that you see when you look in the mirror. We’re talking about the self the people who love you most tell you that you are. We’re talking about the self that your beta readers rave about when they read what you wrote. This is the self that people are going to be most attracted to and this is the self that you should be in your marketing.

You don’t want to be someone else. If you promise potential readers someone else’s writing and then deliver your own, they’ll notice the difference and they won’t appreciate the deception. This is one of the reasons why making comparisons between your work and the best of the writers in your genre is dangerous. Chances are those names mean something special to your readers. They may buy your book because of the comparison. They may even like your work. But they’ll feel let down if you don’t live up to what those names mean to them. And you’ll never know if you can do that, because you don’t know what those names mean to your readers. Even if you were to do a survey (which most people don’t), you’ll only get what those names mean to most people, but not specifically to the people who buy and read your book because you chose a work or author they love.

Don’t try to pass yourself off as someone you’re not. But don’t air all your personal hang-ups and insecurities either; except, perhaps, in your blog and social media feeds, where being human and flawed is appreciated. Be your best self. If you attract people that way, then the people who read your work are likely to be satisfied by it. If they’re not, then you know you did something that is either wrong or that didn’t go over as well as you hoped. (The difference there depends on whether you knew you were taking a risk by breaking one of the rules or not.)

The point is this: Readers who are attracted to you are going to give your writing a fair chance. Readers who are attracted by the promise of someone else are going to be disappointed that they didn’t get what they were promised, whether they enjoy your work or not. Are you willing to take that risk?


About Stephanie Allen Crist

Stephanie created and produces in answer to a call from God to use her experiences and gifts to help others. Stephanie is also the author of and two books that can be found on that site. Stephanie strives to share her love, faith, and talents in an inclusive manner to help others who know spiritual pain and who know the bitter taste of the dregs of despair.
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3 Responses to Be Your Best Self

  1. acflory says:

    As I was reading this I was struck by something my older self had forgotten – I was never the popular girl at school/college/name-your-social-venue, so how is my best self going to attract readers? And then I realised that I’ll accumulate readers as I accumulate friends, one special person at a time. Of course this also means I’ll never be rich and famous, but on my good days I can live with that. 🙂

    • What makes one popular in those venues doesn’t necessarily make one popular in writing and vice versa, so the one doesn’t mean the other.

      But, yes, you accumulate readers the same way you accumulate good friends, and sometimes you meet a “reader” who can be just the person you need to introduce you to a lot more of them. 😀

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