We all want to put our best foot forward and make a good impression, or at least avoid making a bad one.

As a writer I’m interested in building my brand in an effort to raise my visibility and increase my book sales. What does that really mean? For me, it means that I have a website, Facebook page, and LinkedIn account. I also have this blog and a Pinterest account. I even send out the occasional tweet. I’m pretty active on social media.

Here’s the problem: I’m actually a quiet, fairly boring person. I’m not dynamic or charismatic. I’m bland. You won’t see pictures of me skydiving on my Facebook page. You won’t even see a picture of what I had for lunch. If I were sitting next to Stephen King I would be invisible. You get the idea.

It would be quite easy for me to change all that and create a fresh and exciting Ronald Paxton. It wouldn’t be a lie, exactly, just a matter of “selective enhancement.” A better man than I is just a few keystrokes away.

I won’t do it.

Why? Because authenticity is important to me. What you see is what you get, as the saying goes. You can believe everything I say on my Facebook page, blog, or anywhere else. That’s the foundation of my brand, such as it is. It’s not sexy, but it’s real.

So, you’ve been warned. When I become famous and the line for one of my book signings is out the door and around the block, don’t expect to find an engaging, voluble author with a politician’s smile when you reach the head of the line. I’ll be the guy with the frozen smile and clammy handshake who is busy trying to avoid eye contact.

Quit laughing. It could happen.

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