Hi! I’m Carolyn, author of the YA Science Fantasy Thoughts To Die For and upcoming Hippie Girl, Ethereal Girl and Imagine That.
Thanks for stopping by. That’s me on the right in the above photo with Deb Brown, author of Lifelong, Loyal Clients.
You must be a self-published author. Me, too. Nice to meet you here in cyberspace. Hopefully, one day, we will meet in person.
As a self-published author I am learning that I AM THE BUSINESS.
Just because my book is available on Amazon, through Barnes and Noble, other online retailers - and even on the shelves of some independent bookstores - doesn’t mean that my target readers are going to find it.
We self-published authors don’t have the benefit of having the instant credibility that comes with having Scholastic, Penguin, Simon and Schuster, or some other industry powerhouse promoting our stories to hundreds of thousands, or perhaps millions, of their social media followers. Nor do we have anyone working on scheduling our global book tour! So, comfortable with it, or not. Excited about it, or not. WE ARE THE BUSINESS. YOU ARE THE BUSINESS!
That’s not a bad thing. In fact, it can be a very good thing and can even work to our advantage. The catch is - it requires us to engage more in the world. It requires a lot of talking. And smiling. And schmoozing. Ugh. Just the thought of it can be tiring, right? But it may also be a lot of fun!
We writers spend A LOT of time writing. Alone. In our writer’s cave. We like it there. Unfortunately, until which time one of our books is acquired by Warner Brothers, Pixar, Imagine Entertainment, Disney, etc. and made into a feature film (dare we dream?) WE MUST TELL PEOPLE ABOUT OUR BOOKS!
I don’t know about you but I prefer to not be one of those writers who obtains fame from the grave. DEAD BUT FAMOUS – a chapter in my Debut YA Science Fantasy, THOUGHTS TO DIE FOR.
I was fortunate enough to be able to participate this past weekend, in the Indie Books International IFF Forum in La Jolla, CA. Here I was surrounded by passionate authors and speakers who have already established themselves, or are working to establish themselves, as experts in, well, something! Experts who regularly traverse the public speaking portal to self-promotion and sales. But any good speaker knows that sales aren’t your priority. To impact and influence is your priority. Once you impact and influence, people will organically be interested in the books you write.
Watching these individuals of various levels of expertise was literally a LIFE CHANGING experience for me. What did they all have in common? They were all willing to face their fears. Are you willing to face yours?
It isn’t easy to make oneself vulnerable. To stand on a stage in such a visual and often superficial world with unbleached teeth, greying hair, chubby belly – or a myriad of other natural but gossip-worthy imperfections - is enough to make a budding speaker sabotage their potential success. I only mention this because it is something to which many of us can relate. And, I mention it because I have used a few of these imperfections as excuses for why I cannot pursue a public presence. And, I mention it because this myth I have held for so long dissolved at the IFF Forum as I watched so many moving and powerful presentations given by people just like me. People our society would consider – The Imperfects. This is a bittersweet realization. Had everyone BEEN perfect by societal standards I would now have an excuse to not become a speaker.
On the 3rd day of the forum the proverbial light went on in the dusty, cobweb-woven corners of my misanthropic mind. I realized that I must THINK DIFFERENTLY about what being a self-published author means. Sigh. I. Must. SPEAK!
So, I am working on MY STORY.
Fortunately, Hollywood story expert Michael Hauge was at this event. Michael is a master storyteller. Who says so? Will Smith, for starters. I purchased Michael’s book – Storytelling Made Easy – Persuade and Transform Your Audiences, Buyers, and Clients—Simply, Quickly, and Profitably.