NYC Pitch & Sell Conference approaches I've been thinking a lot about an author's image, mine in particular. What am I going to wear to the conference? How should I do my hair? What should I take with me? All of that reflects who I am. First impressions can make or break you, especially in a situation like this and I'm acutely aware of that as I rifle through my wardrobe. Those of you who have attended a conference know just how much stress this can cause. Should you worry about your appearance? Yes and no.
You are who you are and the agent or publisher isn't buying into you, they're buying into your work. Ah but wait, now days an author doesn't get to sit around the house in a pair of comfy sweats, drink coffee, and write their life away. Don't worry, there's much of that to be done, but an author has to wear more hats now than ever before. Publishers are doing less and less promotion. That is falling to the author more every day. You'll be doing book signings, book readings, speaking at conferences, retreats, and book related events. Anymore it isn't just your book the publisher is investing in, it's you as well.
The industry is getting tougher. Fewer books are being picked up and fewer writers are finding agents. You have to stand out. Not just your book but your image must be something they think they can sell. How often do your hear, 'build your writer's platform now'? All the time. That's why so many of us blog, to connect with others and build that platform. While image may not be about what you wear to the conference or how you style your hair, it is about how you come across online. Always be aware of that and know that someday what you say on line could be seen by an agent or publisher considering you.
Needless to say, I won't be wearing my sweat pants or even blue jeans. I'll be ironing my best business casual outfits, gathering everything I need to take in a presentable package, and putting my best foot forward (which will not be clad in my hiking boots). I don't feel like I'm misrepresenting myself by doing this. I have a business side and this is the time when it needs to come out. While writing can be a hobby or pastime, becoming an author is a business, one I intend to be very successful at. And you know what they say about success, dress for it!