Many authors want to write their books, but they don’t want to market them. However marketing efforts are needed to let readers know about the book, and even a shy author is always the best salesperson for their books. Meeting the public can be terrifying for shy authors but it doesn’t have to be as frightening as many authors think. Here are some tips to make it easier.
1. Visualize the Event Before Going
Not knowing what to expect always heightens one’s fears. This is why visualizing before the fact can be so helpful. So many authors are nervous about their first book signing that they forget to enjoy themselves. Make sure you are prepared to go early to be sure not to add extra anxiety. Once there, spend five or ten minutes sitting quietly and envisioning everything going smoothly from arriving early, to talking to readers and selling books.
2. Get to know the Staff
Getting there early also gives you the opportunity to befriend the staff. This contact is extremely important. If you make a good impression, the bookstore employees or conference planners are just as likely to say good things about you to your potential readers. Being friendly with them will also make them more likely to lead customers over to where you are signing books and to recommend your books to customers in the days and weeks following the event.
3. Get to know the Audience Individually Beforehand
If you are speaking in public, it’s a good idea to engage the audience members individually so you have friends listening to you instead of strangers. Stand by the door and shake hands or walk among the audience, introducing yourself to people and getting to know a little about them. Ask them why they came and what they would like you to talk about. Even if they are shy, they will remember you and like you.
4. Don’t Create an Invisible Line
Some authors sabotage themselves when speaking to their public. While you may not be shy, something as simple as introducing yourself as “Mr. Richardson” or “Ms. Lovelace” is going to turn customers off more quickly than if you say you are “Fred” or “Ellen.” Readers want to be treated like friends, and formal names create a distance. Body language, looking bored, or ignoring customers by not saying hello will also build invisible lines which make customers feel you don’t really want to talk to them. So be yourself, and be and friendly!
Sometimes, our own fears get in the way. The only thing we can do is convince ourselves that what we are about to do is no big deal, in order to get us through it. By being yourself, and friendly we automatically crumble the wall we thought needed to be climbed! For more information on how we help authors, visit www.readerviews.com.