January Assessment: Physical Presence



In the age of digital, it can be easy to forget that your books are physical objects. It is important to do a thorough assessment of the physicality of your books (and yourself) as well as a digital one.


Assess your local bookstores and libraries. You want to make sure that your books are available, first and foremost. If they’re not, introduce yourself to the folks in charge and start the process of them acquiring your work. Many readers prefer physical books to digital ones, and ignoring any potential readers is not recommended.


Assess your local events. Look into organizing a book reading, attending other literary events, and maintaining a presence in your community. It is easy to stay behind the screen and engage with your readers online, but you would be missing out on so many opportunities to strengthen your impact locally if you don’t step outside your comfort zone.


Assess your local network. There are authors and readers everywhere! Your greatest ally could be your next door neighbor, your favorite barista, or your favorite librarian. Make the effort to introduce yourself more. Expanding your immediate network is never a bad thing.


Assess your personability. Digital interactions are a walk in the park compared to in-person interactions. You can take your time to craft a response to an email or a DM, but you don’t have that luxury when dealing face-to-face. Practice your speaking skills and your smile. No one wants to talk to a scowling, unengaging author who mutters single word responses. To sell your book(s), you have to sell yourself.


The in-person aspects of being an author can be a challenge. But with effort, research, and a smile, you can make great strides in promoting yourself and your work.