What exactly is a misrepresentation? A misrepresentation, according to our topic of being an author, is something done in order to deceive, or provide false information or impression about in order to further your goals or destroy someone else’s. In either case, there is much, and I mean much, misrepresentations going on in the literary world today.
With explosion of e-books, everyone is a specialist of some sort, but unfortunately, many of the people claiming stamps of approval haven’t any credentials or past actions to back them up. For instance, someone publishes a book on how to gain a huge audience blogging. The book is published to the finest of artwork and the formatting is brilliant, however, the person who wrote the book has never succeeded in blogging…ever in his natural born life. Yet, he publishes a book that claims to have been the biggest blogger on earth.
The question then needed to be asked is – how does he know what it takes? It was possibly something that he read himself actually, but somehow forgot to credit his source.
This leads to the topic at hand, authors. Never misrepresent who you are and what you do. It leaves a terrible taste in the mouth of those who are supposed to learn from you. Understand that you don’t have to be the number one book seller or the number one blogger to teach someone something, however, you do have to have a successful past at your career while at the same time being able to deliver a testimony about the challenges and the times you succeeded.
This rings true for everything you do. How can you tell someone how to be married or raise children if you have never, ever had a spouse who wigged out during midlife crisis and had to deal with teens who feel like they can run your house for you? Sure, you can be a listening ear and maybe even pitch your angle but some of the best advice comes from those who have successfully survived it after living through it. This is just an example, but you see what I’m trying to get at?
All this being stated, if you aren’t a major speaker, don’t pose yourself as one. If you aren’t an award winning author, don’t…please don’t…make up an award for yourself and announce that you have won this big literary award that only the crickets and those in your immediate circle know about. The truth will eventually come out, and then your whole entire world will come crumbling down around you…with embarrassment. There is always someone who knows the complete truth.
Things such as hype can get you far with the public who can’t tell and won’t look up who from who, but if your hype gets you to land a major media interview or two, they hate to be fooled and lied to because it makes them look extremely bad. Don’t think for one second they won’t dig up the dirt on you and spill it on the next episode to feel vindicated. They will.
It’s fine to be honest. No one said you had to be the super expert on anything, but what they do want you to do is respect who you are with the backing of your legitimate successes while respecting who they are by not lying and misrepresenting who you are. Remember that man who stood by President Obama claiming to know sign language in South Africa during President Nelson Mandela’s passing?
He was a total fraud. No one knew until … later. It not only embarrassed the people who put him in the position, but it embarrassed the country.
Your actions effect more than you, and your misrepresentations will catch up with you…eventually…so stay honest, make great books, and allow people to fall in love with the real you because you have much to offer – number one or not. You do have a story to tell and lessons to teach, and it is only the truth that will last.