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Writers Need To Get Comfortable In A Crowd

When I was asked to speak at my local writers guild I jumped at the opportunity because I’m insane. I always want to be useful. I want to help! And after I volunteer or agree to something I immediately have a volunteer’s version of buyers remorse. My mom once bought me a t-shirt that said “Stop me! Before I volunteer again.” This time  the situation is a little different. I really want to speak at the guild. I want to tell everyone about everything I’ve learned, and I want to be helpful to them in their quest for publication. If anything I’ve learned can be helpful then I want to help.

Here’s the problem. I’m not super comfy speaking to a group, even a group I love. I can talk around a table with ease, but something changes the minute I KNOW I’m supposed to lead the discussion. There’s just so much pressure.

I decided to talk about this today because as much as writers like to think of themselves as these quiet little squirrels, it’s better for business if we can talk to a group without having a stroke. I believe we will all have our day. We will see our words in print. That means having book signings, doing readings, meeting our readers, and putting ourselves out there at some form of promotional event. When we do, there will (hopefully) be people there to watch and talk to.

I want to remind you to look ahead, regardless of where you are on your journey to publication and suggest you take opportunities to talk to groups. Don’t be afraid to share your enthusiasm with them. Talk about what you love, reading, writing, your character, words! It’s a beautiful thing when we can inspire someone else to reach for something they might otherwise have left alone.

This month at my guild I’ll be talking about the benefit and use of having a web presence. I’m not sure I’m the MOST qualified to talk about this, but I am definitely online night and day, so I’m going to give it a whirl. I’ll let you know how it goes, but in the meantime consider speaking to a group about something you love. You might even want to guest blog for someone. That’s a great baby step into networking and it will help build your web presence.

Anyone have a great story to share about how you handle promotional events or public speaking? Will I end up like one of those woozy brides on the funny home video shows? Face down on my tablet?

We shall see.

Writer Wednesday Welcomes Lindsey Bell!!!

Today Writer Wednesday Welcomes Lindsey Bell!! Lindsey is a fun new friend of mine who I met on Twitter. She is absolutely lovely and you will agree. I love, love, LOVE her topic of choice today because it’s one I’ve talked to so many writers about. As it turns out, not every writer is as extroverted as I am *shocking* I know. And truthfully, even the friendliest of people can find themselves frozen when faced with a crowd of strangers. Also, in a world where we learn to be humble and polite, tooting our own horn can be pretty awkward. Lindsey really gets it right, and she says it way better too, so here she is!

Why You’re NOT Too Shy to Promote

If there’s one thing you need to know about me, it’s this: I’m shy. I’m an introvert at my core. Public speaking makes me nervous. Talking to editors intimidates me. My voice even gets shaky when I talk to other authors. I guess there’s a part of me that still wonders if my writing is any good. You’d think getting published would alleviate these fears, but for me, it hasn’t. I’m still shy. But…I’m learning to manage it.

Last fall, I did something that I’ve avoided for years. I pitched my book to several editors and agents at a writing conference. Yes, I was petrified. Yes, I was drenched in sweat by the time the pitches were over. But it was worth it. I met my agent at one of those pitch sessions, and we’ve been working together for the past six months to get my manuscript polished and submitted.

As a writer who has finally learned how to manage shyness, I feel obliged to pass along some tips to other nervous writers.

  1. Dress the part. I try to wear professional-looking outfits when I talk with editors, agents, or other authors. It’s weird how looking professional makes me feel more qualified.
  2. Come prepared. When you go to a writing conference and plan to promote your work, be prepared. Bring your book proposal and sample chapters. (In fact, I’d bring several copies of your proposal, just in case you run into another editor who likes your work). You should also bring business cards.
  3. Perfect your pitch. The pitch should be a couple of sentences long and include the title, theme, and basic story line of your book. Once you’ve written your pitch, practice it. Have it so well memorized that you can say it without even really thinking about it.
  4. Remember that they are people too. Editors, agents, and other authors are just like you. Try to take them off the pedestal and view them as normal human beings. It’s also helpful to remember that they are rooting for you. They want you to succeed.
  5. Believe in yourself. So what if you’re a first-time author? So what if you are young . . . or old . . . or whatever thing you think makes you less qualified? Believe in your writing, and believe in yourself. Because when you do, you’re a lot more likely to find someone else who will believe in you as well. J

Good luck, and happy pitching!

A Little Bio & Where You Can Find Her:

Stay-at-home mother, wife, and blogger. Her articles and devotions have been in various publications. She is currently working with the Blythe Daniel Agency to find a publisher for her parenting book entitled “Searching for Sanity.” When she’s not writing or chasing after her two-year-old son, Rylan, she’s likely spending time with her husband, Keith. Or then again, she might be taking a nap. Read her author blog at www.lindsey-bell.blogspot.com or her miscarriage blog at www.livingwholeagain.blogspot.com. You can also find her on Twitter (LindseyMBell) or on Facebook (Lindsey Bell).

 

Lori Foster Reader & Writer Get Together 2011

I had the pleasure of attending the Lori Foster Reader & Writer Get Together last weekend. I had an amazing time. The event was one of those I know I won’t soon forget. There were nearly 400 in attendance for the conference and many many more when the doors opened to the public for a book signing. I went with hubsy and met up with his cousin, my bestie, the ever fabulous Nikki Brandyberry from Ramblings from a Chaotic Mind. She was like a flipping celebrity there. Everyone recognized her name. She eats romance books for breakfast lunch and dinner then blogs about them. Everyone wanted to say hi or ask her to review their books. She dragged away a uhaul full of awesome. Because she totally is.

My wonderful beta buddy and bestie Jennifer Anderson came all the way from Missouri – which surprisingly wasn’t that much farther than me coming from another city in the same state. Go figure.- We had so much fun. We met tons of authors and online friends. We networked. We read. We laughed. We checked on our submissions LOL. We had so much fun and there are many silly pictures to prove it.  I am so glad to have a real person to attach to her personality in my emails.

On Friday night I had the amazing opportunity to meet with and pitch to Sue Grimshaw editor at large for Random House, Bantam, Ballantine, etc. She wasn’t looking for YA (sad face here) but she was so lovely that meeting her felt like a great consolation prize. Then, on Saturday I pitched my YA to an editor at Source Books, Leah Hultenschmidt. She was so much fun that even if she thinks my writing is meh, I still scored by our fun chat and I even got a great new YA recommendation from her. I’m always looking for a new YA to read and love forever :)

Also, I had the chance to meet and talk to Kim Jacobs, the owner/editor/drop dead deliciousness that is Turquoise Morning Press. She was the first to take a chance on me and I hope to never let her down. I loved talking with her one-on-one and I feel like, while we didn’t have long to chat, we connected. If you’ve ever considered submitting to a small press, don’t forget to look her up. There are simply no words for her kindness, integrity and character. *Big pink kiss here* Muwah xoxoxo

I’m always surprised at how kind and gracious the people in this industry can be. This weekend was no exception. I had an A+ super incredible time and if you ever have a chance to attend a writers conference…GO! You won’t regret it. Promise.

IMM & Mailbox Monday 6/5

Today I’m traveling home from an the Lori Foster Reader Writer get Together. I’m writing this post in advance so it’s like I’m in the past, or maybe the future? Depends how you look at it. Anyhow, I’m sure I scored lots of incredible new books at the conference, but since I don’t really know that yet…I’ll tell you what I read last week! It’s good. Promise.

Legacy by Cayla Kluver *Thanks NetGalley!!*

In her seventeenth year, Princess Alera of Hytanica faces one duty: to marry the man who will be king. But her father’s choice of suitor fills her with despair.

When the palace guard captures an intruder—a boy her age with steel-blue eyes, hailing from her kingdom’s greatest enemy—Alera is alarmed…and intrigued. But she could not have guessed that their clandestine meetings would unveil the dark legacy shadowing both their lands.

In this mystical world of court conspiracies and blood magic, loyalties will be tested. Courage won’t be enough. And as the battle begins for everything Alera holds dear, love may be the downfall of a kingdom.

Haven by Kristi Cook

Violet McKenna isn’t a normal girl with normal teenage issues; she has more to contend with than most people could handle. Violet thought she was just crazy when she had a vivid vision of her dad’s murder. Her life started falling apart when her premonition came true. She’s had flashes of other events too. The problem was nobody believed her until she found a new school: Winterhaven.

At Winterhaven, Violet finally feels like she belongs. She quickly finds a close group friends and discovers that they too have psychic ‘gifts’—as do all the students at Winterhaven. But as soon as she feels settled she discovers the most intriguing and alluring boy she has ever met, and things quickly go awry. As the attraction between them grows, intense visions of the boy’s death start to haunt her. In her premonitions the secret he is unwilling to share begins to reveal itself. And to Violet’s horror, she learns that their destinies are intertwined in a critical–and deadly–way.

The Summer I Turned Pretty by Jenny Han

Belly measures her life in summers. Everything good, everything magical happens between the months of June and August. Winters are simply a time to count the weeks until the next summer, a place away from the beach house, away from Susannah, and most importantly, away from Jeremiah and Conrad. They are the boys that Belly has known since her very first summer — they have been her brother figures, her crushes, and everything in between. But one summer, one wonderful and terrible summer, the more everything changes, the more it all ends up just the way it should have been all along.

Lament by Maggie Steifvater

Sixteen-year-old Deirdre Monaghan is a painfully shy but prodigiously gifted musician. She’s about to find out she’s also a cloverhand—one who can see faeries. When a mysterious boy enters her ordinary suburban life, seemingly out of nowhere, Deirdre finds herself infatuated. Trouble is, the enigmatic and conflicted Luke turns out to be a gallowglass—a soulless faerie assassin—and Deirdre is meant to be his next mark. Deirdre has to decide if Luke’s feelings towards her are real, or only a way to lure her deeper into the world of Faerie.


In My Mailbox is a meme from the Story Siren designed to help book lovers unite, meet, greet and follow one another in our quests to find the next most awe inspiring, tear jerking, mesmerizing or just entertaining new tome.

Mailbox Monday is a meme hosted this month at MariReads. This is one more incredible way to get to know one another, build your following and find great new sites to add to your dashboard.

What was in your mailbox this week?

Be sure to follow me if you like what you see. I always follow back!!  & I love making new bookish friends!

Blog Hop & Follow Friday 6/3

It’s time for the Blog Hop & Follow Friday again! I love this part of the week because  I’m meeting so many awesome bloggers, writers, readers *sigh*. So to all of you hopping with me I’m smiling widely like a doofus and waving frantically as always!!

Blog Hop is hosted over at Crazy-for-Books. These memes were created to help make the web smaller, and introduce us bloggers to one another. We can find sites and meet people and follow those we love! We increase our followers and we get some fun new sites to add to our dashboards too. Its a big win-win and I am thrilled to be taking part again this week.

So the question this week at Crazy for Books is:

“Share your favorite post from the last month and tell us why it’s close to your heart!”

I think my post called Waiting: Its the Writer Life hits home for me. Waiting is very hard for anyone, but writers are perpetually waiting on something. Our hearts are on our sleeves everyday hoping to find an agent, sell our manuscript, find a publisher, hear back from our critique groups, beta readers, maybe contest we entered…writers wait and wait and it can drive you buggy some days with worry. I am waiting for two things right now, plus I’m headed to a writers conference today to pitch my manuscript. There will be more waiting if they want to see it. Waiting is tough, real tough, but its the life. I knew when I signed on but I love writing too much to stop, so I will wait. Wow. I guess I needed to unload this morning! Thanks for listening :)

 


Thanks everyone for stopping by! Leave a comment and tell me if you follow! I always follow back!!!

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