The Stigma Associated with Authors

How authors are perceived in the media is directly related to what the media demands in an interview source. Producers and editors want stories that relate to their audience base. The media wants interesting information in a bite-size form, and unfortunately, this demand is not regularly associated with authors. Authors are stereotypically deemed as boring book pushers who merely want to use the media outlet to sell more books. This reputation may be due to the ineffectiveness of an author to diversify his/her product.

An author is considered an expert by the media. As an expert, one should be able to field queries that directly or indirectly relate to their subject matter. This expert status may pose problems for some authors. They may feel that their expertise is, and understandably so, limited to only what is written in their book. For some media outlets this is satisfactory, but for national media, the author must be able to provide an expert opinion on a variety of related material. For example, if an author has written a novel on the trials and tribulations of growing up as a single child in an urban environment, that author must be able to confidently field questions that deal with peripheral, related subject matter. Whether it may deal with self-esteem issues, attention deficit disorders or how urban youngsters communicate differently from rural; the author must be willing and confident enough to answer these types of questions. Remember, the media considers authors to be experts.

So how does an author prepare him/herself to be an expert? The answer requires a process of preparation and practice. It is a process since it takes time and effort; the same time and effort it took to write their book. Preparation involves diversifying your product. Finding audiences that your book relates to and formatting your message to best communicate your book ís message. Practice is merely the act of the author ís preparation. In time, the process becomes easier and more effective and helps to decrease the stigma associated with authors in the media.