Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Appearances and Professionalism

I'm interrupting my resource blogs to bring you something that kind of hit me hard. Now, I know I'm probably going to catch a lot of grief for this, especially since I'm not a 'published-author' yet. (Though I am published under another name.) My mentor once told me that in this age, the age of technology, everything will come back to you. Regardless of how hard you try for it not to. He told me to keep that in mind if I decided to publish under a pen name. Now this was a few years ago. This in combination of a chapter in Quit Your Day Job is what brought me to the topic of this post. This business is about who know and how to use your contacts. You can push people away very easily, so let's start with appearances.

I love hanging out in my PJ's and my baggy clothes. They are loose and comfy and in the cold weather they are great. But when I go somewhere that I might meet up with a contact, or I know I'm going to be meeting up with a contact, I dress nicer. Not to say I wear slacks and blazers everywhere, but I wear my nice jeans that aren't torn, a nice shirt, and possibly heals. Depends on the event or the plans. When it comes to conventions, I tend to go dressed in something theme wise, but nothing outrages. The point is, it's easier for people to take you seriously when you act like you care. If I don't dress nicer, I look like I'm a teenage (yay for good genes!) and it's hard for people to actually think I'm serious about anything. It's kind of like a job or a job interview, dress for the part.

I mentioned it before, about how in the age of technology everything comes back to you. That means even if you post something on your personal page, it'll still come back to your author self. It's possible to post something negative on your personal page and have it effect your career on the author side of things. I have seen many indie-authors do this, the moment that I see them complain about a negative review or negative feed back from a reader I lose respect for them. If you need to vent about it, vent to a person you trust, but not in a public forum, place, website. It's okay to have opinions, but when you post them, you don't want to chance hurting your career or your fan base. You've worked hard to build up both. H.P. Mallory states:

"Now, supposing Ms. Book Blogger didn’t like your book at all, and this absolutely does happen, be PROFESSIONAL! Remember, you are trying to embark on a new career, therefore you need to act every inch the professional business person that you are and do not take negative reviews personally. I have had book reviewers email me back, telling me they couldn’t finish my book or they really didn’t like the book, etc.   When that happens, I very politely ask them if they would mind not leaving a review on Barnes and Noble or Amazon. Most times, they are nice about it and won’t leave bad reviews but sometimes they aren’t as nice and might leave you a bad review. Just take a deep breath, count to ten, and continue contacting other reviewers. Trust me, it’s not worth attacking them (especially in a public manner where other people can see your attack) because it will only make you look bad and it absolutely could destroy your career. I want to stress the point about never responding to a bad review even further. This is actually a huge issue and I have noticed many instances where indie authors get extremely defensive of their bad reviews on Amazon and Barnes and Noble. NEVER EVER EVER respond to a bad review in a public arena. If someone leaves you a 1 star review on Amazon, for example, and says your book was the worst book they’ve ever read, DO NOT RESPOND! If you respond, it will only hurt you, not the person leaving the review. I can’t stress that enough."

(Mallory, H.P.  (2011-08-01). Quit Your Day Job, A Guide for the Self Published Author (Kindle Locations 1198-1204).  . Kindle Edition.)

I think that this can be taken further. You have a multitude of ways that you can respond to negative things, be it someone said something about your book, you personally, or something you've read in a blog post. Chose the highroad, create less drama for your fans and your career.

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