Common Author Question Time: I’d like to be an author, but I can’t deal with speaking to groups…

(Note: Sorry that some of you might have gotten an email about this post early. That was a mistake. Now its live and it has a video attached!)  Common Author Question Time is about questions I get all the time when I am out and about at speaking engagements and conventions.


Okay, this time the question is technically not a question, but a statement. “I’d like to be an author, but I can’t deal with speaking to groups…” “Or to strangers.” “Or in public”

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I always reply, “I’m actually rather shy. It’s something I had to learn.”

There are two basic answers for this. Sometimes they will say nicely, “You don’t show it.”

And I’ll answer with “Thanks, I’ve worked hard to overcome it. So many of us, authors, suffer from self doubt.” After that we may have a nice conversation.

The other answer is not quite as nice. Sometimes they answer: “You’re not shy, I’m shy.” “Or I’m a true introvert, you can’t understand.”

At that point, I’m thinking, “Dude, its not a contest.” I say something to the effect: “Being a public speaker is part of the job. So is accounting, understanding basic copyright laws, understanding contracts, marketing and a host of other non-creative activities that I have learned how to do.”

Sometimes they go away, sometimes they keep telling me why I am wrong and they can’t do it. Sigh. So I made this 12 minute video speaking about how to overcome it.

The highlights of the video are:

If you are on panels: Have a few things prepared to your topic. Keep smiling. Respect the other panelists.

If you are tabling: You should know your introduction and book pitch from top to bottom and have a few basic answers prepared to common questions about your project such as:

  • genre and age categories adult content issues
  • your inspiration
  • Your biography
  • when did you know you wanted to be an author

And armed with that knowledge you are ready to conquer the world!

Does anyone else have tips to get over convention fright?


The Grove Cover_blogsized If you like sorcerers deciding the fate of humanity, garden gnomes and ancient sleeping gods, check out my latest book.

 

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