Apr30

Presentation is Everything, especially when you’re an Indie author.

Before I get into talking about presentation, I have some news to share. On May 29th through the 31st, I will be attending the New Jersey Librarian’s Association conference at Harrah’s in Atlantic City. And no, I am not a librarian. I will be there to sell books to random strangers.

Cue the panic attack!

What makes this particularly exciting for me is that I will have a Square credit card reader. That’s right, this scrappy, indie author, is going to be able to accept credit card payments for his fledgling business. Silver Pencil Books is a real business. I have a phone number too! Don’t call me.

Maybe one day Silver Pencil Books will become a digital book retailer. Until that day comes, let’s talk about today’s blog topic:

Presentation is everything.

Back in the old days, I hated the idea of being judged by appearance. If you have a messy work station because you’re packing crap all day. Why is it important for a regional manager to see a clean station?

I always believed, and still do to some extent, that the quality of the content was more important than the appearance. For instance, how many mechanics do you know have a spotless garage? The best ones I’ve found are hoarders. They can’t walk past their tools without knocking something over.

In college, I had an English professor who looked like the bartender of a seedy bar. Her wild grey hair, perpetual frown, lumberjack clothes, made it seem like she was going to be a real . . . b****. Turned out, she was one of the nicest and most supportive English teachers I had ever met.

Her presentation threw me off, but I learned a valuable lesson. Don’t judge by appearance alone. Unfortunately, the rest of the world doesn’t work that way.

If you’ve ever seen a peacock, you know their tail feathers are absolutely beautiful. When a male peacock wants to win over a female mate, he spreads his feathers and dances. The peacock with the most beautiful feathers wins the mate.

I think you already know where I’m going with this.

When we want to impress a man or woman: we work out, put on cologne, style our hair, we try to look as good as humanly possible.

Imagine if you’re the CEO of a billion dollar company. You have invited other billionaires to come see your facility and others via Skype. How amateur would you look if you couldn’t connect to a simple Skype call? How would your guests perceive you if your billion dollar company had stained carpets and rotting furniture? Your presentation matters.

Haven’t had a date in a while? Have you combed your hair? Brushed your teeth? Showered? Do you ask people rude questions or talk too much? Presentation matters.

The same rule applies to books. If you have an ugly cover, typos, and no reviews, it makes your book look homemade and not in a good way. Some readers are forgiving. The rest are not. Presentation, presentation, presentation.

As a self-published author attending a book event, I am going to be shoulder to shoulder with professionals. If they have displays and credit card machines, I need to have them too.

How I present myself will determine whether I leave with all my books or none of them.

According to this website: https://www.copyblogger.com/independent-publishing/ I’m not the only one who thinks so.

Put yourself in the shoes of the visitor. If you are attending a conference and looking for a new book to read. Are you going to stop by the table with one miserable guy sitting there, no decorations, and a book with an ugly cover? Or are you going to visit the table with beautiful banners, a credit card machine, and a smiling vendor?

A small percentage of you will visit the miserable guy because you will feel bad for him. The rest of you will ignore him because of his presentation alone.

I originally wanted to order the $400 Square credit card reader. It was a cool mini-tablet that printed out receipts and took credit cards. Presentation-wise, it would have looked awesome. But spending four-hundred dollars without knowing if I will attend future conferences seemed wasteful.

So rather than buy an expensive machine, I opted to get the free sticker and popup stand that said I could accept credit cards. Again, think about it from the perspective of the potential buyer. If you see a credit card sticker, you already know you don’t need cash.

Rather than view presentation as a superficial thing you do to look good in front of the boss. Look at presentation as a way to express power and confidence. Use your fancy display not only to attract buyers, but as a way to boost your self-esteem. When you look and feel good, these feelings will come through in your body language and demeanor.

Anyway, that’s going to be it for this month’s blog. Since the book expo is happening at the end of May, I won’t have an update for you until June. Hopefully, I’ll have some interesting stories to share.

Have a great week!


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Wilmar Luna

Couldn't be a superhero in real life so he decided to write his own. When he's not creating empowered female characters he can be found watching films, reading books, and playing lots of video games.
Buy his books here: https://www.thesilverninja.com/purchase/
Wilmar Luna

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