What’s Your Author Personality?
Finding out may be the key to publishing success.
Writers come in all shapes, sizes, and personalities. My business partner, Megan Haskell, and I quickly learned this truth when we started teaching workshops at writers conferences. We also learned new writers often don’t understand where they fit on the “author-spectrum.”
I’ve met many a writer who’s penned one how-to manuscript and believes the next step is to find a New York agent. I’ve also met writers whose work might merit a big publishing house, but they’re in too big of a hurry to trudge through that process.
The problem, at least one of them, is that the publishing world is a big, complicated place. There are almost as many ways to get your manuscript into print today as there are manuscripts to get there. Where do writers start?
The internet is a fire-hose, filled with opinion as well as fact. Published authors are a great source of information, but when you’re new you often don’t know any. Conferences are terrific, but expensive and time consuming. Megan and I saw a need.
In response, we created a very scientific (tongue placed firmly in cheek) personality quiz to help writers discover where they are on the spectrum. We came up with 5 basic types: The Artist, The Bucket-lister, The Calling Card Writer, The Dabbler, and The Entrepreneur. Attached to each personality, we assigned a handful of blog posts and resources to start them on their educational journey, then sent the test to 50 or so of our closest writer friends to get feedback.
The feedback was mixed. We made adjustments then sent it to about 500 more of our closest writer friends and received better feedback. It’s available now for free on our business website, AuthorWheel.com. We have an online course coming soon to accompany it, also free.
What we learned from this process was that we weren’t as clear about our own writing personalities as we thought we were despite the fact that we have ten or eleven books between us. Since I am a traditionally published author and Megan is independently published, we’ve always assumed I had the more artistic temperament, and she was the entrepreneur in the duo. Not true! We each came out about 50/50 Artist/Entrepreneur.
I also realized I’d begun my writing journey as a Dabbler. I worked for magazines in my pre-baby days so when I started writing again I immediately gravitated to nonfiction. I wrote a health how-to book, edited an online magazine, and wrote lots and lots of articles for print and digital publications. I didn’t love any of it. It wasn’t until I started interviewing fiction authors for articles that I realized fiction was a career possibility for anyone other than a rock star. So, just like a natural personality, an author personality can morph over time.
As daunting as the big, bad world of publishing is, and as much as some might grieve the end of the good ole’ days when ten companies controlled what the country read, I’m excited about the changes. Yes, it’s confusing and competitive and sometimes discouraging, but it’s also rife with possibility regardless of where you fall on the spectrum.
Greta Boris is the author of The 7 Deadly Sins, standalone novels of psychological suspense. Ordinary women. Unexpected Evil. Taut psychological thrillers that expose the dark side of sunny Southern California. Her stories have been called atmospheric, twisty, and unputdownable.
She’s also the Co-Creator of The Author Wheel, a site for writers on writing, and a popular conference speaker and workshop instructor. She describes her work (and her life) as an O.C. housewife meets Dante’s Inferno. You can visit her at gretaboris.com.
Her newest novel, A Pinch of Gluttony, released June 2.
A fascinatingly dark and dangerous world. Boris explores the hearts of her characters as she spins a fine story.
— Anne Hillerman, New York Times bestselling mystery author
Wow! Absolutely enthralling. An unputdownable thrill ride that will keep you breathless.
— Advanced Review Team Reader