Thanks to Andrea Cascardi’s wise words in last week’s post, I’ve been thinking a lot about befriending my community as being an early step to promoting my book. Even though the pub date for Playing Like a Girl isn’t until 2017, I’m heeding her words and starting early!
Andrea said to “go out personally and meet local booksellers and librarians.” This should not be that hard to do. Bookstores and libraries should be my way of life, right? Well, I have to confess that most of my book shopping online. I can feed my book addiction without shedding my bath robe. Also, I don’t linger when I go to the library. I get what I need – pronto – and I’m out of there. It's clear that I have to make an effort to create a few more face-to-face opportunities with these folks.
Honestly though, when you get right down to it, I’m not entirely comfortable with the notion of talking up my book. Oh, I’m plenty friendly, for sure. Meeting people is one my most favorite things to do. I love finding out what makes people tick. Yet, to turn the conversation around on myself…uh... that’s a toughie for me. I’d best get over it and the sooner, the better.
This week offered two opportunities to befriend influential folk – a book launch on Wednesday and a Thursday morning back matter research session at the library. While attending the launch at Nicola's Books, I did connect with Lynn, the event coordinator. She was really busy scrambling about stacking chairs. It didn't seem like the time to plug my book. Instead, we shook hands, I introduced myself as an author and that I'd come back sometime to get to know her better. It was a super pleasant exchange.
Engaging with the children's librarian was an equally delightful experience. Once again, I introduced myself as an author doing research on the Silk Road for a publisher, and would she have the time to point me in the right direction. She was helpful, cordial, and as cute as a kitten. There was a storytime session going on in another room. Those little rug rats were having FUN! The library was alive with the kids' electric energy! I decided that I'm going to make a regular practice of spending time in my sweet local library. Befriending those gatekeepers will be a blast!
You know, in a way, this week I think I befriended myself, too. Introducing myself as an author to influential professionals is a HUGE step for me. Doing so didn't feel hokey or fake. Instead, it felt all right. Believable. True.
How about you, fellow debut author? Will you go out and meet the librarians and booksellers, too? Will you introduce yourself as an author and talk about your book in a light, conversational manner? Will you connect with the community in a genuine way? How will you befriend the author in you? Come on. Let’s do this together.
Just for fun, I’ve made some downloadable Contact Cards. I haven't used the cards yet, but I plan on making notes on them and then transferring the information to my phone and, maybe, Evernote. I’ll be glad to share the .pdf with you. Click HERE to download the document. You’ll need to use scissors to trim around the borders.
Maybe keeping these cards nearby will keep us confident! We can do this! Yes, we can!