So last month (Yes I know it’s a little late telling you guys but I already had my blog posts for then written) I was contacted by a lady I had previously met at a book event asking if I would give a talk at their local writers group. I was over the moon and immediately said ‘YES’ but, and here’s the but, I’m a little shy at times when it comes to meeting new people and I have never in my life done a talk in front of anyone, even at school if it was my turn to do a presentation I would pretty much pass out and be sent home ill!!!
(Image by Samuel Zeller via Stocksnap.io)
So why did you say yes??? You ask 😉
Well I think in the long run it would be good for me, it will give me the chance to branch out, meet new people, potential new readers and potential new author friends. These people are just like me, authors trying to make a thing of themselves in this new authoring world but they want some advice from someone who has already dipped their toes into the floodgates of author-dom. I also think it would help me get over my fear of talking in front of people, if I ever do make it as a big time author (I can dream right) then there is that chance that I might have to do big events, talk to a few hundred instead of around 10-20, I might be interviewed and it could be heard or seen by thousands (Yeah I know I’m still dreaming, those things don’t happen to small time authors like me haha but you still never know!)
So I’m going to need to prepare myself for this event, I’m going to need to plan to the point that I will have too much to say instead of too little, I would rather have notes left over at the end that have been unsaid then not have enough to say and their be some awkward silences!!!
(Image by Aaron Burden via Stocksnap.io)
So here is my plan so far;
- Take a few of my own books with me to sell and show off – Now this might seem like boasting, like haha here are my books, just look at them but, it might help me in the long run. I can pick up my book and show off the cover and tell them how it was designed and the process for getting it onto the book. I can talk about editing, the copyright pages just inside the book, the blurb, how many pages it has, adding in a thank you note and other titles in the front. And maybe just holding one of my own books might ground me in the sense of giving me something to focus on instead of the 10 pairs of eyes in front of me. So yes, I defo think taking my books is a must.
- Business cards – You want to look and feel the part when you do an event, and one thing that helped me feel professional at the Book Festival was, my business cards. Which you hand out to people in the hopes they will check out your books online, your social media links and your blog ;-).
- I have also decided to write up a quick questionnaire for each of them, I feel this will help me to have a few minutes if I’m struggling to gather my thoughts and process what’s going on. But it will also help the readers / listeners too because it will potentially be a questionnaire on which publishing route might be best for them. As I know self-publishing is no easy feat but then neither is trying to get chosen to be Traditionally published, they both have their pro’s and con’s.
- Write up bullet points on cards – I will not in any way shape or form be able to memorise what it is I need to say, I will need notes on cards that I can hold, shuffle and read from to help me. On them I will put notes on Self-publishing (Which is why they have asked me to come along as that is what they potentially want to do themselves), How to make, design or purchase a brilliant front cover and how Amazon / Createspace can help you do this also, How to edit, Proof-read, to make sure you are protected by copyrighting your book but also that you are not copying anyone else’s work, self promotion, sending books off to the British libraries and enjoying the life of an author.
- Write a step by step guide on how to publish via Amazon / Createspace – This was the main thing that to them was quite an important issue. And since I am always self-publishing my own books each year this one can be quite easy to write and get screen shots for.
As the months go on (As it’s not till April) and if I find anything else that comes in useful or that has helped me I will post updates on here. Because if it helps me it might help you guys too. Plus if you have any tips for me I would LOVE to hear them!!!
Happy Writing, Reading and Learning!!!