Thursday, January 9, 2014

The importance of being professional

First impressions are important. There's that saying that people judge you within the first few seconds of meeting you. I suppose you could say that goes for online presence as well. And especially with readers and your books.

Being a self-published author is about being a professional as much as being a writer. You have to do a lot of the leg work yourself. And when you do, you have to do it professionally. You have to be courteous. You have to keep track of everything that you've got to do and keep on top of dates, jobs, and emails. And you have to be humble and accepting of "no" when it comes.

You are your selling point. Your face and your reputation will be known to the readers and to people in the business. If it gets around that you're unprofessional, people aren't going to want to work with you. And that can be the kiss of death for a writer's career, especially if you're a self-publishing or an indie author trying to get their foot in the door of a big publishing house.

So here are some tips on how to be professional in your online presence:

  1. Use people's names. If you know last names, use proper titles. 
  2. Don't send mass emails. Tailor emails to individuals.
  3. Double check your emails. You don't want to have to explain why you sent an email to someone with the wrong name on it.
  4. Answer promptly and courteously, even if the answer is "no."
  5. Be on time with things. If you get a "yes," make sure you get things to people by the deadline they give you or, preferably, earlier.
  6. Follow up with people. 
  7. Say thank you. This is the best thing you can do to show you're a professional.

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Edited by - Stephanie King