by Suzanne Kuhn
Do you feel as if you are a public figure? Some are nodding “yes”, while others are shaking their heads adamantly “no”. Regardless of how you responded, reality is that when you answered the call and made the commitment to pursue writing, you became a public figure. In doing so you took on the mantle of writer and all the responsibility that comes with it.
Over the past few years I’ve been blessed to be invited to teach at many writers conferences. I’ve taught at Christian writers conferences and general market writers conferences, as well as initiated training for authors at retailer trade shows. Because of my retail background in bookstores, I provide a unique perspective when teaching that few others are able to offer. One of the bookstore experiences I often mention while teaching is this … as a writer, YOU are pursuing the dream of many others.
Many people aspire to be a writer, but lack the courage. You may be thinking, “I’m not courageous.”, but the fact that you are at the very least pursuing a dream that others barely even dare to dream makes you just that … courageous!
Because of the work I do now with SuzyQ, it seems natural for someone to share with me a dream to write. But as a retailer in bookstores for more than half my life, I have had countless encounters in which customers expressed to me their desire to write. There was no reason to share this beyond the fact that I worked in a bookstore. You might be surprised at just how many people hold the idea of writing as their “secret wish”. But you are living that dream! And as a result, you have become a public figure. For those of us who are introverts, this thought can strike sheer terror in our hearts.
So how do you bridge that gap? Think about how you felt when you met your favorite author for the first time. You might have been tongue tied, had sweaty palms, and were a bit giddy. Guess what? Your fan may feel the same about meeting you. Knowing this can give you an advantage when interacting whether face-to-face or digitally. You have the opportunity to make your fan feel at ease, and to become relatable while still holding that position of public figure and allowing for an element of mystique.
How do you accomplish this? By tapping into elements of who you are at your very core. By being true to who we are privately, we are able to remain authentic to who we are publicly. The key is to be the best version of your authentic self.
When an author successfully bridges that writer to public figure gap, he has just mastered one of the most effective tools for author promotion. While living the dream of many, he has managed to be relatable and in touch with readers. He will win fans for life.
Are you living the dream while embracing the public figure?
Suzanne Kuhn has more than 20 years of book retailing experience and event sales, including traveling as part of Karen Kingsbury’s team. In 2010 Suzanne launched SuzyQ, a full-service author promotion and retail development firm that works with authors, publishers and retailers, helping to coordinate events, train staff and authors in reader engagement, and develop promotions for increased sales and reader/customer loyalty. Suzanne’s experience and knowledge in the book retailing venue gives her an edge when consulting with retailers for niche and business plan development, facilitating book tours, and ensuring more successful and profitable events. Suzanne truly believes in the power of Christian literature to impact and change lives.