I’m tried this evening, but I wanted to start getting my thoughts together before I forget. I probably won’t post ’til morning, but I don’t want to forget it all…
Today was another experience, another lesson…
I participated in my first organized Author Expo. It was held locally at the Riverside Arts Market here in Jacksonville. I’ve participated in a couple of small local festivals, but this was authors and book people! I was surrounded by people who were just like me – writers.
I met a gentleman who wrote about Jacksonville history and shared his experience with a “traditional” publisher – the thing I took away from that was that by the time everyone before him got their cut he didn’t earn that much. (hmmmm…. I am my own middleman.)
I met a lovely lady who just published her first book. She was sharing that her book was more of a “hold in in your hands handbook” on college prep, excited about the process. She, like myself, did the self publishing route. It was nice sharing what we both experienced through the publishing experience..
I met a sweet-sweet-sweet older lady who writes period books, I believe the first one takes place in 1837 and the second in like 1912. She was interesting to talk to and told me to keep doing what I’m doing – “writing is a gift” and that in “todays’ ways” the rules have all changed. What I heard most from people who have more experience than I is that indie-authors ARE the future.
I met a local woman who has such a passion for books and wants to support those of us who are making the ‘LEAPS OF FAITH’ toward actual published works that she has set up an on-line community of authors, editors, graphic artists (NOTE TO SELF – several people asked about Jeff’s info!!!), people involved in all aspects of the book process, and I am very anxious to explore!
And my neighbor was a Sci-Fi writer and self publishes through a different company than createspace and the biggest difference I noticed was that he had hard cover books that createspace doesn’t offer – DO I NEED HARD BACKS? I’m not sure, because it seems as though Kindle is my biggest outlet, but would someone want a hard back if I had them… must consider this… He was kind to share info with me to help me move forward and I was most appreciative. The biggest thing he told me was that I was doing things right, but to keep looking at ways to move forward – BETTER. He had suggestions about beta-readers (something I have already considered and reached out to some people to do that – First round readers will be my friends who know my heart…. second round readers will come from readers who have reached out to me in ways that have touched me that were so SPECIAL that I’m not really even sure I can tell you how I feel about them. I KNOW WHO YOU ARE…..).
I learned that I need to make a list of all that I need to take with me when I go to events such as this, and go over the list several times – one little thing makes a huge difference – two words – BUNGEE CORD! I learned that there are things that I need to explore to draw people to my area. I need to raise my books up and will explore ways to do that. I’ve been told that the BLACK tablecloth made my books POP and learned that tape sticks to crushed velvet better than a traditional tablecloth… and HELLO????? Where are my tablecloths from when I did Premier???? Sold!!! But I think, there too, I need something to raise my information up so that it catches the eye of those passing by not sure of what I’m offering – oh, and I need a bowl of candy – but – it has to be something that I DON’T LIKE! 🙂 People flocked to tables where there was a bowl of candy.
I learned that I had to move WAAAAAY out of my comfort zone, but first I must explain.
I worked in corporate American for years and one of the things that happend quite frequently were what my husband called the ‘touchy-feely’ trainings to learn about yourself and how you work with others. Over the years I took the Myers Briggs Personality Test many times – and I learned over those years that I am a borderline Introvert/Extrovert. Those who REALLY know me get this – those I believe only THINK they know me can’t believe that INTROVERT was even a remote possibility….. but then you don’t REALLY KNOW ME. I had to absolutely PUSH myself to talk to people about my books – and there were some who REALLY wanted to talk 🙂 It wore me out, but now that I’ve spent a day doing it – I believe that I can lean more toward the EXTROVERT part of myself. A good friend and her husband were there yesterday and we wee discussing the E/I thing and it was funny because I was telling him, E – I, E – I and then I remembered something else I wanted to say and finished my thought with OH! (come on – say it out loud – you’ll get it! E – I, E – I, OH! – ok, maybe it was funnier to me! ha ha ha!)
Check yourself out! http://www.personalitypathways.com/type_inventory.html ENSF – INSF for me… 🙂
I learned that NOTHING compares to family and friends – and I KNOW AND APPRECIATE how precious those people in my life really are.
I learned that I will wear COOLER clothes and more COMFY shoes in the future – especially OUTSIDE EVENTS! COTTON and cute flip-flops!!!) Oh! and there will be a FUTURE! I had a WONDERFUL SURPRISE when I got home from this event – There’s already something in the works for September 28th – STAY TUNED!!
And I learned that when I got home and unpacked – a chilled glass of Muscato was such a treat… And that YOU told me – it’s NEVER TOO EARLY TO GO TO BED…
With love, Barbara