Friday, July 04, 2008

Networking, Marketing and Trying not to make a fool of yourself...

Okay so I threw that last bit in there to see if you were paying attention.
But seriously, that's sometimes how I feel.
Writing is a wonderful thing to do if you're a homebody and don't really care for large crowds and inane conversation.
You can just hole up in your office or wherever you write, and...well...write. Or play on Facebook or...oh, okay. Write.
However, let's say you actually write something that makes sense, you secure an agent, and you actually sell your book...
No, sadly, I am not making an announcement yet. Don't worry, you'll know.
I've been told, when this happens, I will be expected to get out of my pajamas and face the light of day.
And talk to people. Gulp.
Talk to people I can do. I love email. I have no problem sending my thoughts across the wire, sometimes prematurely but we won't go there. I'm talking to people right now, aren't I? I'm so glad all three of you popped by.
Doing this in real time is a little different for me. For one thing, I'm very shy. No, seriously. It takes me a while to warm up
and I suppose I can be perceived as a bit of a snot because really, I just don't say a whole heck of a lot at a first meeting.
So I'm thinking going on the Oprah show is really going to be a nightmare. Yes, I know, I said the O word.
Is there a therapy group for people like me who keep talking about things that are never going to happen? It's a joke, actually. I don't really believe I will ever go on Oprah, even if she begs me.
So anyway, back to my plight of what I will do when the entire population of Dellview, North Carolina (pop. 16) is clamoring for a booksigning...
Will I suddenly find a new side of myself and become an outgoing, fun to be around instant celebrity? Or maybe the mysterious eccentric author who never does appearances angle could actually work in my favor.
What do you think?
I think, and I don't like it, that I have to put myself out there. I've gone to two writing conferences now, my third just around the corner - hundreds upon hundreds of people in attendance, which really makes me nervous, but I survived. I even lived through editor and agent appointments. So did they. At least I think they did.
It's really hard to step into new situations, to venture into unknown territory without any directions. I'm fortunate this year because I do have an agent and she's making me sit down with editors. I'm thinking of hiding in my room, but I have a feeling she'd hunt me down. I'm just hoping these editors speak Mandarin 'cause I'm thinking when I open my mouth, that's what it's going to sound like.
Yet at the same time, I realize this is all a necessary evil. I must find the confidence to get out there and present my work. In person. It sucks, but that's life. But maybe, as they tell me, the more I do it, the more comfortable I will become with the process. I sure hope so.
Well, if you've read this far, you'll know there was no real reason for this post, I'm just venting.
I'll go to my appointments at the ACFW conference, and I will pitch. Hopefully not my breakfast.
I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.

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