Credibility, or social proof, is your way of demonstrating that who you are and your message is worth trusting. Every author needs it because it shows publishers, and your future audience, that what you have to say it legitimate.

But what does that mean and what does that look like?

Types of Credibility

Social proof takes many forms, and here are some of the most common ones:

How Credibility Influences Your Writing

There are three major reasons I can think of for how credibility can play such a big part in your writing, especially if it’s your first book. It hugely impacts:

  1. Who will read your work
  2. Who will represent your work
  3. If your work is worth promoting

If your goal is to be traditionally published by a medium or large press, like one of the “Big 5”, then the credibility of your message is going to be largely dependent on one of the factors listed in the previous section (career experience, education, accomplishments…).

Why should people believe what you have to say, and why is it worth believing?

Whoever chooses to represent your work, like a literary agent (if you decide to go that route), will be considering those factors as well. Your background will reflect well upon them and make your book seem not only reputable, but also worth promoting.

Your credibility makes any publication appealing because you’re the subject matter expert and are willing to offer valuable insight into whatever it is you’re speaking on.

Ways to Build Credibility

If you’re an aspiring author and want to know how to build more social proof, here are a few pieces you can always build upon:

Final Thoughts

If you feel overwhelmed by all the possibilities, start small. Seriously. Go to your local Barnes & Noble, head over to the magazine section, flip through the ones that pique your curiosity, and consider submitting an idea to them. Brain dump any and all accomplishments (academic, experiential, entrepreneurial…) onto a piece of paper and see what you’ve done so far. Highlight your favorite “brags” on your resume.

You want others to know that your message and image (as an author) is worth trusting. This will naturally position you as someone with the authority and/or experience to speak on your topic.


⭐ Let’s keep the conversation going! Email me at lauren@laurenericksonofficial.com 

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