The question editors like to ask when a book is finished is: “Does it work?’ It’s actually not a bad approach. It’s entirely pragmatic. Most really couldn’t give a damn whether an author writes well or not. They are much more concerned that he, or she, satisfies the market.
I tend to ask myself a similar question after I finish a blog, a book or a plan—or pretty much anything of that nature (omelets I eat)—although I probably phrase it more like: “Does it feel right. Will it work?”
At the beginning of 2014, I begin to realize what was missing. I hadn’t given nearly enough thought to positioning. I was thinking of marketing books, and book covers, and and a website—all good, solid, very necessary stuff—whereas the real brand on the internet is the author.
Me, in this case. AAAAH!
Galloping goblins! How could I have missed this?
Positioning is all about matching image to market so that the products appeals to the maximum number of buyers. However, back in the days when I hunted dinosaurs, authors didn’t have much of an image—apart from celebrity authors like Normal Mailer or Truman Capote. The focus was on the book. Now, with the internet becoming increasingly important, the author is becoming the focal point (visually anyway).
But what was my image—and what did I want to project? And did I want to project myself at all?
Silly question. Today, whether you like it or not, your typical shy, introverted, and decidedly modest author has to find a telephone booth (not an easy task in itself any more) and reemerge as a self-promoting hustler—confident, charismatic, adventurous, dangerous—and sexy!
The latter words just emerged. Is my subconscious up to its tricks again?
Sexy? But, I’m 70, I thought. And I’m not Clark Gable.
Just as well. He died at 59.
Still, I was going to have to come up with something.