Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Your Professional & Online Writing Presence

by Cindy Sproles @CindyDevoted

I want this class to be relaxed. No power point. No handouts—because I want us to simply talk. I want our time together to be an opportunity for you to see the different sides of publishing. As an acquisitions editor, I can talk to you from that level. As a managing editor who oversees the process of publishing your book…. I can talk to you from there. But I can also talk to you from an author’s eyes because I live here too.

So a lot of what we will talk about is going to be the inner side of this business – the emotional, the expectations from the other side of the table. So if you feel like you need to add something, speak up. I want your input. I want your questions. I want your attentions so that we can help you work through the publishing industry. Do I know it all? Rats…no! But I do know enough that I think I can tell you some things you may not be told otherwise.

I’m a very hands on editor. It’s because I was an author who once struggled for answers. I had my own expectations. I lived in the bubble of what I thought publishing would be. And I then I learned the hard way . . . what it was not.
I’ve tripped up and fallen. Figured things out the hard way. But learned along the way. So let’s figure out who you are.

1. Who are you?
  • We basically live two lives. The life of a family person and our writing life.
  • What are you expectations?
  • How do you want to be perceived?

2. Email
  • tickytoenailbitter@hotmail.com
  • Agents and publishers need to know who you are.
  • You want your email to be professional
  • Watch what you write in your email. Think about it before you hit send.
  • When you are in a thread of emails with numerous folks. Especially …be careful what you say. Others (even when you reply to one not the group) can sometimes see the full thread.

3. Facebook
  • Author page or not?
  • What do you post on fb and how do you keep your professional
  • Twitter

4. Talking with an editor, agent, or publisher
  • Get to know them
  • Carry a business card
  • Carry a one-sheet
  • Know your pitch
    • Don’t have to memorize it but you know it well enough to share it.

5. Business cards
  • They don’t have to be fancy. Just so they have the contact info on them
  • A photo is nice because we can recognize who you are
  • Decide your comfort level as far as address and phone number.
    • If you do editing, you may need the address and phone
    • Only as an author, you may not need address and phone
    • Email address and phone if you are a speaker
6. Publicity Packet
  • Professional photos (several views)  close up, full body, part body,
  • One-sheet to sell yourself
  • List of speaking topics
  • Calendar and availability
7. What kind of author do you want to be?
  • You don’t want to be an author who is hard to work with
  • Choose kindness.
  • Have a teachable heart
  • Don’t marry your words
  • Give back because it comes back
  • Reputation is gold
  • Let go of what you think this is going to be and let God move
  • We are not entitled
What goes into a professional online #writing presence? @CindyDevoted lays it out (Click to Tweet)

Cindy Sproles is an author and popular speaker. She is the cofounder of Christian Devotions ministries and managing editor of Straight Street Books and SonRise Devotionals, imprints of Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolinas. Cindy is the executive editor of www.christiandevotions.us and www.inspireafire.com. She teaches at writers conferences nationwide and directs The Asheville Christian Writers Conference - Writers Boot Camp. 

She is the author of two devotionals, He Said, She Said - Learning to Live a Life of Passion and New Sheets - Thirty Days to Refine You into the Woman You Can Be. Cindy's debut novel, Mercy's Rain, is available at major retailers. Visit Cindy at www.cindysproles.com and book her for your next conference or ladies retreat. Also connect with her on Facebook and Twitter.


  1. tickytoenailbiter....I need to insert the crying-laughy emoji here! Loved your article!!!

    1. LOL! I did get an email once that was less than appropriate and to make it worse, it was @hotmail.com. I nearly didn't open the email for fear something really raunchy was attached. Ended up being a new writer. I kindly called her on the email address, which by the - fit perfectly for a candy shop she owned, but not anywhere else. She nearly died. In fact, she changed all her emails when she realized how it sounded. What sounds cute does not always come across with the right impressions.

  2. Cindy, Great information. I do not have a publicity packet put together. I will work on that. Thanks again for all your help.

    1. Publicity packets are very important. When you post them on your site, they are very accessible for those who are doing interviews, book signing preps, signs, etc. Invest in a nice photo session. It's well worth your time and money.

  3. Good job, Cindy. What a great checklist for writers! Have a blessed Christmas is my prayer for you today.
    Elva Cobb Martin, Pres. ACFW-SC www.elvamartin.com

  4. My mentor taught me to dress for work everyday, it's nice to be ready no matter what the day brings. I made a surprise connection the other day and was glad I had business cards in my wallet.
    Thanks for your help.

    1. Good job. You will never regret being prepared.

    2. Good job. You will never regret being prepared.

  5. Cindy, thanks for this. I love my private email name. It says who I am but it doesn't sound professional. I guess I need to begin using my business one all the time for such. Thanks for the reminder. Great information all around.

    1. It's better because publishers and rditord can find you with an email that has your name in it.

    2. It's better because publishers and rditord can find you with an email that has your name in it.