I felt super excited about attending my writing class last night because 1) it was a workshop with several guest speakers and I didn't have to take any writing with me and get chewed up and spit out by the instructor, and 2)...well, because there would be a lot more people there and I didn't have to say anything and risk getting chewed up and spit out. (Can you guess what my experience was the week before?) In all honesty, I totally deserved it and learned tons...but now I am scared out of my mind!
The presentations exceeded my expectations! Since I took 8 pages of notes, I'll fill you in on just a few nuggets of wisdom that grabbed my attention.
Eric James Stone: Write what you know. Know what you write. Write what you believe. Put yourself into the story. There are a million different stories and a million formulas for getting them written. Just keep writing until you find the one that works for you.
Panel Discussion (Caleb Warnock, Eric James, Lorraine Scott, Chrisy Ross, Tristi Pinkston): How to have a successful book signing - When you are marketing your book, you're not marketing your book. You are marketing yourself. Make eye-to-eye contact, show your personality -- without being overbearing -- be friendly and approachable, and polish your elevator pitch. Take your own table cloth and displays and take care of yourself. Be rested, well-fed and drink plenty of water. Passing out is not professional. Oh...and take a seat cushion. Call ahead to make sure the bookstore has copies of your book and take a few of your own, just in case. Take pens with you.Talk to everyone! Show your sense of humor. Be smart. Be bright. Be funny. Remember: You cannot "freebie" yourself into success. Brand your treats or swag or whatever you hand out and don't be afraid to ask the customer if you can supply them with copies for gifts or ask the store if they would like you to leave signed copies, etc.
Loraine Scott on dialogue: to create shared understanding. Listen. Evaluate. Observe surroundings. Question what is going on. Move the story forward and understand the difference between "real" dialogue and "believable" dialogue. Practice, practice, practice...pacing.
Chrisy Ross - Give yourself permission to know that you are better than you think you are. Let go of self doubt. Create a healthy and positive self-fulfilling prophecy. Be a friend to yourself. Learn to trust your instincts. Everyone's process is different and that's okay.
Caleb Warnock on publishing trends of 2012: Humor, Humor, Humor. Fractured fairy tales, and unusual mythological creatures. The world of publishing is changing rapidly with stuff like agents going into the e-publishing business and leaving the publishers behind, and Amazon allowing libraries to lend ebooks. Be aware of SOLOMO (social, local, mobile) media. All promotions will either be all digital or at least part digital. Watch for 3D readers...instead of pop-up books.
There was sooo much more...(isn't there always?). One of my classmates posted on FB that last night she came to the realization that writing the book seems to be the easy part now. I have to agree. Real writers work hard!
My goal this year is to finish my manuscript so that I can use this great information for my own book signing! My biggest challenge: self-doubt and sabotage. What is the biggest challenge in your writing career?
btw....at 2:50 this morning, I got a new granddaughter! 9 lbs. 1 ounce...no name yet...mom and baby doing great!