So what the hell am I doing?
Maitland Library, 24th October, I, April Klasen, will be giving my first author talk. Gulp.
When I sent out my enquiring emails to libraries around the area, it felt empowering but also a long way off. Now it’s coming up and I’m nervous.
What do I talk about?
What if no-one shows up?
Why would someone like me (only just figuring out her process and getting people to look at me from a distance) think that people would want to hear what I have to say when they don’t know me at all?
Oh boy. Prepare for the panic. Get the cookies ready, I’m going to need some comfort ASAP.
Okay, calm down. There are always going to be risk with putting yourself out there, but you can only do what you can do. Let’s look at what’s in my control.
The Speech; all of the authors I have watched at talks have something prepared and the most interesting refer only to notes (they don’t read something entirely prepared, they keep it lively and in the moment). They mention their inspiration, writing process, how they became published, and any funny stories related to it all.
And they read from their books an interesting passage.
That should take fifteen minutes.
Questions; they might not ask anything, but if they do, be prepared. Think of what were the common questions you asked when first starting out. What advice was given to you? What’s the one thing you wished you knew before it all began?
Also, you could ask your online fans if they have any questions. During the time, film your response and post it up with a tag to that person who couldn’t make it that day.
Advertisement; sure the library has their own advertising channels for an event, but I can’t depend on that alone. Time to utilize the skills of my friend Kathy (she is the Queen of spreading good news). Print off flyers and take them to businesses that you’re familiar with or where your ideal reader might visit on a regular basis, ask politely if you could display the flyer in their window. If it’s up for long enough, someone might see it, remember when the event is meant to be on, and haul ass.
And always talk about the event. Everyone you meet, mention what you’re doing when they ask about you. Everyone. That little old lady who knew your dad when he was in nappies might mention it to someone who could be interested.
Self-promotion isn’t dirty. It’s exhausting because you’re the one hearing the pitch every time you speak, the person you’re telling it to hears it once.
Wherever you think a reader will spot it, put the information up.
Time to get printing and talking. Wish me luck.