SYNCHRONIZING AN AUTHOR’S IMAGE HELPS ENSURE SUCCESS
It’s summertime, and in Arizona that means finding ways to survive extremely hot weather. If you’re inside on most days, you may not relish the thought of your usual hours spent in research, composition, and editing. Here’s a project that may prove useful in wading through the next couple of months … For regardless of whether you’re a newbie or established author, a single question can effectively measure the potential for success of current and envisioned marketing materials and promotional campaigns: Can your promotional elements be recognized and appreciated by the readers of your genre?
Self-Awareness ~ Market Savvy Readership-Appropriate Promotion
No one lives in a vacuum. Like any business professional, an author needs to ensure that their target market recognizes their name, art elements, and components of any logo and/or slogan they use! Remember, you ARE where you are BECAUSE of your past. And, considering what you’ve already paid in time, energy, and resources, it’s worth reviewing your life journey periodically!
REVIEWING OUR PAST
Periodically, I write about reviewing materials in old hardcopy as well as electronic files. This can be especially useful if an author has had a variety of careers. Samples of past bios, job descriptions, and marketing materials we may have created in those jobs can demonstrate interesting insights into our lives. Shifts of focus in one’s life may not seem related to our current work as an author of fiction as well as nonfiction, but this is not true—for reviewing the phases of one’s life should reveal developmental patterns and an expanding flow through the years.
As you work your way through the myriad files that reflect the essence of your life, keep a pen or electronic means of notetaking available, as well as a folder for any gems you may wish to include in new promotional projects. While reveling in past accomplishments that may prove useful again, don’t forget to note past shortcomings that you will want to avoid in the future. The following considerations should help shape your progress to new heights of accomplishment.
~ Are there key words and phrases that you and others have utilized to describe the dynamism of you and your work?
~ Have you received awards or other forms of recognition that express the essence of your personhood and work?
~ Is there material that reflects the nature of your genre(s) and/or the work of fellow authors... Remember that you cannot plagiarize another’s writing, but you can draw inspiration from them.
~ Are there statements of desired short- and long-term goals...regardless of whether you have accomplished them?
~ Are there color or grayscale photos that might be used again? If not, are there poses, garments, accessories, and elements of hair and makeup styling that can be updated?
PUT SYNERGY TO WORK FOR YOU
As you conclude the review of your life’s work, determine whether there are words, phrases, and sentences on which you might base a survey. Some “experts” assert that surveys may not be useful as they can yield unwelcome responses. I propose that even negative responses can fortify one’s sense of purpose and indicate a clear direction in imageenhancing strategies! By effectively surveying members of your support team (readers, editors, publishing staff, family and friends), you may find a fresh perspective on shaping a positive image of yourself, as well as utilizing unexpected ideas for achieving greater success. How you conduct the survey may vary from sending out copies via Email to employing conversations by phone or Zoom.
WHAT ELEMENTS MIGHT YOU INCLUDE IN A SURVEY?
~ Photos [you will need both color and grayscale in several formats, i.e., TIFF, JPG, PNG, GIFF] Letterhead for hardcopy, Email, and social media communication
~ Business cards, postcards, posters
~ Art consistently appearing in your books, website(s), blog [such as logos, banners, folios]
~ Colors [verify correct numeration for print vs. electronic colors]
~ Fonts [you may want to check with your fine/graphic artist and publisher
YOUR PROMOTIONAL ROAD MAP
With your notes and folder of samples from your past, you are ready to begin anew, perhaps listing the elements you included in your survey. With elemental choices determined, you can begin shaping new marketing projects—on your own, or by turning to artistic consultants whose talents you have previously utilized. With a firm sense of who and where you have been and where you want to be, your promotional efforts should prove successful and cost-effective!
And so we return to our fundamental question: What will ensure your target market recognizes you in the words and images utilized in your marketing materials and promotional campaigns?