|Not the Author. Also I never wear suits any more. |
This would only be an accurate depiction of my Author talk if I was presenting Jeffe's spreadsheets!
What’s been on my mind this week is the talk I’m giving tomorrow to a local writers group. They invited me to speak about six months ago and I said yes, because May 2018 seemed a long way off. Surprise, now it’s tomorrow! I get very tense prior to doing a talk or a panel, I have huge FUN during the event – I ride the adrenaline – and I’m always glad I did it when it’s safely over. (I also have chocolate.)
I also always say I’ll never do another one…and then eventually I do.
They left the topic up to me although they did say maybe I wanted to touch on scifi romance. I decided no to that one. It’s not a romance group – it’s a very eclectic critique group ranging from poets to nonfiction to fiction. Given that, I figured the best way for me to stay interesting enough to keep everyone awake would be to briefly discuss my own journey to publishing and then give a few insights or guidelines about being an independently published author nowadays.
Kind of funny, I thought I had an hour. Nope, thirty minutes. EEK! So I revised and revised. It’s so tempting to go way deep into a rabbit hole on any one of the zillion things I could talk about with them and I had to make myself pull back to just the 100,000’ level on all of it.
One of the first things I plan to say to them is that there is no one right way to do things, no one right answer. Of course there are exceptions to that rule, as with everything else in life, but it’s a good thing to keep in mind.
When I got into indie publishing, I had so much help and advice from authors who came before me, and so I feel a strong drive to also ‘pay it forward’ to others. I think right now is a tough time in the industry for many reasons, including scammers, trolls, trademark issues (which were on my mind a LOT this week but I'm not going there), a mature marketplace, pressure to do frequent new releases…so I struggled a bit with this talk. I didn’t want to be depressing or daunting in speaking to them, because I love being a fulltime author and would never give it up. Do I miss the gold rush days? Sure! But those days won’t be back and I still very much love writing my books and putting them out there for readers to (hopefully) enjoy. I don’t want to crush anyone’s dreams in the least. Just add a smidgen of realism…it’s not all tea parties and movie contracts out here.
So I settled for advising them to develop a thick skin, remember it’s a BUSINESS, not to compare themselves and their journey to anyone else’s and to stay true to their own voice. Plus some other more tactical stuff about covers, blurbs, editing and promo. And ergonomics.
I hope I get questions because that’s where the fun conversations often spring up! I probably should be more basic and hope anyone even shows up on Mother’s Day weekend!
The other thing on my mind right now is that I got my next book back from the editor and I need to disappear into the revisions so I can get the book out there in the wild and crazy marketplace…