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These are some of the things C. Flynt has been up to, some of our personal lives, some reviews of things we've read, some stuff we've learned.

The blogs are organized by date.

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Jul, 20, 2014 - Detcon1 Sunday: Creators and Brand Identity
Creators and Brand Identity

Beverly Bambury (publicist), John Scalzi (author) , Martin L. Shoemaker (author), Sean Mead (corporate branding consultant)

With his years of blogging (since 1998), his book sales and his twitter activity, John Scalzi is an expert on branding yourself in the modern age. As such, he dominated the panel, but was well worth listening to.

The takeaway points from this panel were:

  • Blogs are still a tool for branding yourself. Readers want to know something about you, not just your book, and a blog is a tool for providing that information.

  • The personal blog (what I ate for breakfast, how many times my cat used the litter-box) are passe and nobody reads them--unless you can be really clever and witty about your cat's bowel habits. Informational blogs are still good. Discuss your research into XYZ and how that will fit into your novel, or post excerpts from what you are writing.

  • Get clarity in your own mind what your brand is. Then the issue is about discoverability. Get on panels, make connections with your local press and alumni association. Get involved with local events and charities, become known to the local press. Mention your book in passing.

  • Avoid media advertising--bad ROI

  • Decide where the line is between your personal and public life, and hold to that line.

  • Push beyond your comfort zone (particularly if you are a shy, introvert who is more comfortable writing in the dark), but don't do stuff you're truly uncomfortable about.

  • Remember that anything you say will be out there forever. Scalzi and others described times when they typed faster than they thought and needed to post apologies for weeks. The bad news is that the off-the-cuff remark lives forever, and the apology gets lost.

    John had the good one-liner - "The failure mode for clever is asshole."

  • If you are a shy introvert, your online persona can be more aggressive than you actually are. Again, avoid being an ass and don't put yourself into a position you can't actually support.

  • Be yourself. Yeah, contradictory isn't it? But don't make up a fake persona that's so obviously fake that it's a caricature of humanity.