You don’t have to be a public speaker to be prepared to talk about your books in public. Because guess what? You are the face of your brand and your books and no one can do a better job of selling your books than you. And no one can better explain what your book is all about than you.
Let’s say you run into an old friend at the grocery store. She asks you what you’ve been up to, and you excitedly tell her you’ve just finished (or published) your book. Eventually, she’s going to ask, “What’s it about?” And a good author should always be prepared to answer this question.
Or, perhaps, you may one day get the opportunity to speak at a book signing or reading or book festival where you might be selling your books (if the world ever opens up to us again). Or, if you’re really lucky, you may one day soon be asked to speak on a panel or at a convention to a room full of writers and readers.
Whatever the situation, it’s important that you are prepared to speak about your book, whether it’s to one person or hundreds.
Perhaps the thought of speaking on the spot makes you break out into hives and a cold sweat. Guess what? You’re not alone.
The first time I ever had to speak about my book on the spot was at my first writers convention, Killer Nashville. I saw one of my dream agents standing alone in a hallway, leaning against a wall. And I knew it was now or never. So I somehow summoned the nerve, walked up to her, introduced myself, and began my pitch.
I was so nervous, I stuttered and stammered through the whole opening pitch. Eventually, she rested her hand on my forearm and told me it was okay and to slow down. She said to think of her as just a friend I’m having coffee with, telling her all about my book. I took a deep breath and did as she suggested. I managed to muddle my way through the rest of the two-minute pitch and in the end, she did request my entire manuscript.
By the end of the day, I’d pitched 6 agents and all 6 of them requested my manuscript. I think the book sold itself, honestly, but I can tell you that with each agent I spoke to, my nerves got smaller and smaller and my confidence grew bigger and bigger. I felt like a pro by the time I pitched the last two agents.
I was eventually invited to speak at Killer Nashville as a panelist the next year. That would be my very first “public speaking” gig. It went well, and since then, I’ve given 5 speeches at conferences and workshops with more on the books for later this year.
Don’t get me wrong. I still get nervous before every speaking engagement. But not as much as I used to. All it takes is plenty of practice and preparation. Trust me. If a girl from The Middle of Nowhere, Kentucky can become a public speaker, you can do it, too.
If you want to learn more about how to work on your nerves and prepare for speaking about your books in public, check out this week’s podcast episode, where I interviewed public speaking guru and author, Aurora Gregory. Just go back to the Author Resources page on this site, and click on Podcast. There, you can listen to Episode 26 and catch up on all the previous episodes, too.
PS – If you haven’t already saved your seat for our live webinar, 3 Secrets to Writing Novels That Sell, you should do so now. There were only 100 seats to begin with, and we’re down to 50 some now. I don’t want you to miss out on this exciting, informative webinar, so hurry and reserve your seat now by clicking HERE.