So you’ve become an author, have you? Published by a small press, or else a large one with no publicist, so that the onus of selling your book falls upon you?
Welcome to life as an author, 2012.
Because I’m an extrovert, marketing via public appearances doesn’t daunt me. I built a highly-successful private practice as a speech-language pathologist with public interface. I developed talks for parent groups and met privately with pediatricians, always bringing my smile, my bonafides, and treats.
Being an author is my encore career.
I mine the perks of positivity and move forward with joyful expectation to market my book via public appearances… until (sigh) a recent hopeful visit to the manager of an indie bookstore made my spirits wilt. With faces austere and foreboding the woman and her staff put the kabosh on any prospect of me having an event there! I confess that my heart sank and I felt unwell.
Okay. I smiled, sashayed out, and quickly compiled a list of a dozen other venues for author events, complete with a compelling talk, where I will make 100% of the profit on sales I may make. Huzzah!
Let’s march onward together. I want to help you rock your own author events.
Here are some key points, rules if you will:
- Think of your talk as a conversation, not a performance. No soaring oratory, just candid and natural sharing with soon-to-be readers as friends. Invite questions and answer them honestly, displaying your personal vulnerability, not prowess.
- Shrink your audience down to one-on-one, so that each person in the audience feels personally invested and engaged. Eye contact is key.
- Use your storytelling skills (duh) After all, humans’ oral storytelling legacy predates written communication, so it’s practically innate!
- Choose to be ‘present’ rather than ‘perfect’, which is hard for me to do. People forgive imperfections if they’re allowed to relate.
- An aphorism I invented is my final reminder: The more you talk, the less people listen. You likely don’t appreciate a ‘big bag of wind’, a self-important authority on all things author, do you? Then, don’t be one!
It’s as simple as that! Go forth and public speak, dear Author Friend/Constant Reader!
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Great advice, but you don’t say how to find engagements.
yes and that was not the ‘promise’of my blog post.
Very pertinent for me. I’m exhibiting my books at the Children’s Book Fest, Oct 6. You give good advice. They also advised to make sure there’s something to do at my booth, so I have several coloring pages and contests.
something to do! What a great, interactive idea!