Monday, October 8, 2012

Can my Author Persona help me sell to publishers?

The whole point of creating your Author Persona at your professional website address is to engage readers and make a sale. Agents and editors are readers and a query to them about your book is a marketing process. So the answer is - yes, having a professional Author Persona and an engaging website will help make a sale if the book you want published is one they feel they can sell with enthusiasm.

Let's consider the query letter.
Dear Ms./Mr. LastName, (formal)
First paragraph is all about the book and includes a great hook, an engaging premise and characters, and a high concept theme.
Second paragraph includes the title, word count, genre, AND enhances the plot, conflicts, character arcs, and the tone and voice of the story, including the fabulous ending.
Final paragraph is a brief bio of your Author Persona and credentials.
Real Name w/a Author Persona
The only reason an editor/agent would check your website at this time is to see who you are online, and to verify you aren't already selling this book referenced in the query. If everything is positive, professional, and all the stars have aligned in your favor - editor/agent will request a synopsis with a partial or complete.

With all these interactions taking place via email, the trend is moving more toward the complete since they will know in the first few pages if the writing/story is strong enough. If so, the editor/agent will want to read to The End. The digital complete request streamlines time and effort for the editor/agent as well.

Let's consider the cover letter included with your completed manuscript to editor/agent.
Dear FirstName Last Name, (friendly-formal)
Thank you for requesting the complete of: title, word count, genre, and first paragraph from the query.
Second paragraph is a brief bio of your Author Persona and credentials.
Third paragraph is a brief review of the executive summary of your marketing plan.
Real Name w/a Author Persona
If the editor/agent likes your book, they will certainly research who you are online before they open discussions for publication. Having them begin that search at your website - where you have created an engaging Author Persona - is a bonus for you. That First Glance impression is within your control and could trigger First Contact for publication.

For the aspiring author, the only thing missing from your website is the Retail Page and Reviews. The News/Schedule Page isn't needed unless you have enough previous publications, and contest awards, to merit their own page instead of cluttering up your About Me page.

For the previously published, your retail page should have all books currently available for purchase with direct links to all point-of-purchase location. Then you can have a "Currently Out of Print" for books that are not available. Even better is name these a "To Be Re-released at a Future Date" section.

Your website and marketing plan will be required as a published author so get ready. And don't worry, the Author Persona can remain a work-in-process until you're ready for the next level - promotions.

Any marketing questions can be posed in the comments on any post. If you have a question, others will too, so we can address our answers to all. Our posts are myths and tips we want to share but we love to target our answers to questions.

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