Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Toolbox Tuesday: The Disaster Preparation Plan

Whether you write under your own name or start your career under a pen-name, you'll have to put a lot of thought into how you want to present yourself to your readers.  For a lot of writers this simply means being themselves, but for others it's not so easy.

Being a writer, especially one who makes an effort to promote their work in the public eye, requires a lot of interaction and diplomacy.  Quite often, this can catch a new author unprepared and, handled badly, could cause irreparable damage to the author's reputation or lifestyle.  You may end up with your home address or phone number posted all over the net.  You may have to deal with a belligerent reader at a signing.  Or, you may defend yourself in a blog post and it may be taken the wrong way.

The best way to prevent being taken by surprise or making a mistake is to have a "preparedness plan" for your persona.  I know it sounds cheesy, but you'll want to establish a list of exactly what your limitations are going to be, what you'll tolerate from your fans, and how you're going to interact with both the people who hate you and those who love you a little too much.  Basically, a contingent plan of "what ifs," "how tos," and "Golden Rules."

Tomorrow we'll talk about some considerations that should go into making such a plan.