I see a lot of social media posts these days about “authenticity.” The idea is that clients and customers, and potential clients and customers, really appreciate your authenticity—mainly because so many fake people have tried to sell them something they didn’t want to buy.

Now, I don’t claim to be an authenticity expert or a marketing guru. Although I’ve worked for about the past 18 years on marketing writing projects, I still think I’ve got a lot to learn. In fact, I don’t expect that to change. In today’s fluid, dynamic online world, learning is a constant.

What I do know for sure, though, is that authenticity isn’t an option, like cruise control or free wifi. Authenticity—putting yourself out there in your truest form, not some artificial persona—is an absolute, non-negotiable necessity.

 

Fact or Fiction

In my travels around the internet, I’ve also read a lot about marketing for authors. As a matter of fact, I even put together a little e-book freebie called Marketing For Authors that I give to people who join my email newsletter list.

Along with the fiction I write, I still produce marketing pieces for clients. So I read quite a bit about marketing. The challenges of marketing fiction to readers are vastly different from those around marketing medical practices or law firms. But no matter the audience, one thing matters to both: and that, again, is authenticity.

You see, when I spent my days marketing doctors to potential patients, I realized that the most caring, authentic medical professionals actually came across that way in their interviews. And furthermore, their patients’ testimonials reflected this as well.

It’s true for getting people interested in your fiction, too.

 

To Thine Own Self Be True

Before you judge me too harshly, let me state for the record that I’ve always tried to be my most authentic self. That’s true not only on social media but also in other forms, like podcasts, videos, and yes, blog posts.

What that means is that I’m really me—not some artificial persona. Sometimes that works in my favor, but just as often, it clearly doesn’t. And that’s okay.

This was brought home to me forcibly over the past couple days when an old blog post gained new life. I belong to an online community called Ngage Café, and many of my blog posts get picked up for distribution there. Today I found myself replying to new comments on one such old post, called We’re All Looking for the Answer.

The fact of the matter is that my fiction, like that of most authors, holds some autobiographical elements. But my newest book, Whizzers—which launches this coming Sunday—contains much more than that. It’s my most personal work to date, and it’s also the best thing I’ve ever done. I’m not only proud of it, I’m actually excited to share it with the world.

And that personal aspect also came through in the aforementioned blog post…so much so that I’ve received more praise than I deserve from folks these past few hours. For that, I’m truly grateful. And being myself surely didn’t hurt; in fact, I have to say it could only have helped.

manuscript

Top Five Things to Check Before You Turn Your Manuscript Over

This week's blog post is for my writer friends. Everyone has a checklist of things they know they need to consider before publishing. When it comes time to turn that manuscript into a book, it's all too easy to get caught up in marketing considerations or thoughts of...
track

Getting Back on Track

Last week, Hurricane Irma came barreling toward the eastern seaboard like a runaway freight train. Here in Tampa, the weather reports in advance of the storm were even more melodramatic than usual – “Tampa is poised to take its first direct hit from a major hurricane...

Cover Reveal: Rides From Strangers

Rides From Strangers is coming! Today’s post is a reminder about the upcoming publication of my new short story collection, which is indeed called Rides From Strangers, after the first story in the book. For those of you already on my email newsletter list, I will be...
characters

Character: What My Novels Are (Mainly) All About

“Sahno offers a compelling vision of a community whose need for companionship and support in the face of life's struggles is stirring.”“The characters are deep, well thought out…”“I read this novel in a few short days, drawn in by a believable plot and characters who...
meditation

Which Is Better For Writers – Meditation or Exercise?

A while back, I did an interview about creativity, and I talked about meditation and exercise. I also talked about a few other things like journaling, play, and being disciplined about a schedule.For writers, you might think meditation is going to be the number one...
patchworks

Patchworks: A Book Review

Today I woke to the all-too-familiar tragic news of yet another mass shooting. Sadly, we all know what will happen next: politicians will sputter, talking heads will bloviate, and the next thing that gets done about gun control will be – absolutely nothing. Such is...
Thanksgiving

Gratitude Week: A Thanksgiving Reflection from Mike Sahno – Author. Speaker. Publisher.

2018 has been trying, to say the least. In January, I posted a New Year's resolution to finish my current WIP, Whizzers, this year. Then, on Valentine's Day, that got back-burnered when the call came that my 81-year-old mother had taken a fall and had to be...
no more for the road

No More For The Road

I took my last drink 30 years ago. Hard to believe, but I’ve just reached the milestone of three decades’ worth of continuous sobriety.Now, if you’d asked me the day before I stopped drinking whether I had an alcohol problem, I would have said No. Mainly because I...
speaking

On the Road: The Speaker’s Life

A few months ago, I wrote a post about annoying current expressions like having said that and at the end of the day. That post came up in conversation this past weekend on a long, long trek to Miami and back. You see, when you spend nine or ten hours in a car with...
punches

Roll With The Punches, Baby!

Today is just one of those Mondays. I got a letter from the IRS that said they "believe there's a miscalculation" in my return. So that big $300 refund I was planning on receiving? Fuhgeddaboutit. But hey, at least I don't owe them anything, and they're not auditing...