Thursday, March 12, 2020

How Should Authors Establish Credibility?

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In the business world, being an author adds credibility to who you are and your brand. But in the world of influencing the media or consumers, how does an author establish credibility?

You may know your book is great and believe in yourself, but how do you go about convincing others of this?  Merit, testimonials, style, persona, bullshit, values, social media, and substance will all play a part.

Let’s start with merit. Determine what your tangible credentials are – schooling, training, work history, related volunteering work, experiences, etc. Did you win any awards or rank high in something? Highlight who you are.

Next, third-party validation: Did anyone of notoriety or positional authority say something positive about you or your book? Compile these endorsements and share them publicly.

Style has to do both with how you present yourself – in person, on your site, your social media, etc. It’s how you look and sound as well.

Persona – different from style, this is about your personality and actual messaging. It’s how you come off to others and the image you project. Are you in character? Confident? Funny?  Assertive? Informative?

Another thing that establishes your credibility is your ability to charm, persuade, and bullshit. Not lie but bend the truth to fit your voice.

Values: This can go both ways. If you express certain views, or values, especially on subjects like religion or politics, that don’t relate to your book – or that end up turning people away – you can lose out before you convince others of your credibility.

Social media:  People will check you out online.  They look at number of followers, level of engagement, what your posts say, who is connected to you, and what your social media footprint reflects about you.

Substance: This counts a lot. You need to be real, honest, and filled with integrity. Your ability to passionately convey great ideas, uncover interesting facts, or display a skill is very important. Substance and character count a lot but they can’t get you to the finish line unless you add in the other things referred above.

Needless to say, credibility also comes in many forms to many people. Maybe just bonding or connecting with another is all that you need.  "You’re from Brooklyn?  Me too!  You like dogs? So do I.” Or those things can cause a lack of bonding when someone is the opposite of you.

As you can see, there are many ways to establish your credibility as an author, and you can’t expect two people to react the same way to you. Play up your strengths and seek to find something that resonates with another person.


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Brian Feinblum’s insightful views, provocative opinions, and interesting ideas expressed in this terrific blog are his alone and not that of his employer or anyone else. You can – and should -- follow him on Twitter @theprexpert and email him at He feels much more important when discussed in the third-person. This is copyrighted by BookMarketingBuzzBlog ©2020. Born and raised in Brooklyn, he now resides in Westchester. His writings are often featured in The Writer and IBPA’s Independent.  This was named one of the best book marketing blogs by Book Baby and recognized by Feedspot in 2018 as one of the top book marketing blogs. Also named by as a "best resource.” He recently hosted a panel on book publicity for Book Expo America.

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