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Always protect your personal brand

Posted by Maria Murnane | May 8, 2012

There are more than 1,500 books published every day. That is a LOT of competition, especially if you’re an indie author in control of your own marketing efforts. With all that noise, it’s important to give your personal brand the best chance of making a positive impression on readers.

What do I mean by “personal brand”? Let me give you an example:

For the past few months, I’ve been hanging out in a handful of LinkedIn groups for aspiring authors and self-published authors. I’m always interested in seeing what people are chatting about, and it’s a good way for me to stay current for my consulting business. While the e-conversations are usually congenial, sometimes the comments take a negative turn. And when that happens, it can be disturbing to watch. Disagreements escalate into back-and-forth arguments that are ugly and unnecessary. Witnessing it unfold on my computer screen makes my skin crawl, because no good can come from it.

Let me repeat that: NO GOOD CAN COME FROM IT.

When people attack each other in an online discussion forum, all they are doing is making themselves look unprofessional – and damaging their personal brands. No matter what your day job is, it’s never good, and if you’re an aspiring author, it is ALWAYS BAD. After all, you may be an aspiring author now, but once you have a book out, potential readers are going to look you up online and make judgments about you based on what they read in these forums. And if you already have a book out, negative comments can come back to haunt you even sooner.

More and more people are using new search engines such as socialmention.com, which track social media and blog comments that Google doesn’t always catch. If a potential reader comes across mean things you’ve written to other people, what is she going to think?

Remember back when an angry Faith Hill was caught on camera after she lost out to Carrie Underwood for female vocalist of the year at the CMAs? Yikes.

Who can forget this unfortunate outburst?

Better quiet than sorry, right? So take a deep breath and keep your cool.

-Maria

This blog post originally appeared on CreateSpace.com. Reprinted with permission. © 2012 CreateSpace, a DBA of On-Demand Publishing, LLC. All rights reserved.

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