June 21, 2021– I hope that everyone had a nice weekend, and as we slip back into our theme of Author Mindset this month, I trust that you’re getting and using valuable information from our posts!
To switch things up a bit, I decided that we should dip into our reader questions that have been sent to me over the years. Here’s a perfect one that goes with everything that we’ve been talking about!
I’m a new author who self-published a children’s book. I’ve got a couple of book signings lined up, and I’m not going to lie, I’m scared to death about interacting with the public. I thought that I would write my book and that the hard part would be over. I’m learning quickly that I have to do the sales part too. I’m an accountant, so I keep to myself in my job, but that seems impossible if I want to sell my book. Can you give me any tips on how to be more courageous when doing my signing?
I love this question for two reasons: 1) Because many authors struggle with this 2) Because it’s an easy fix.
There are three tips on how authors can be more courageous during interactions with the public and their readers!
- Employ your Alter Ego. I’ve said this before, and I’ll repeat it! Using your alter ego (or who you want to be) can work wonders for your confidence. I do this all the time, and when I step into a meeting for venture capital or work with a new client, I imagine myself as my alter ego. What would they do? How would they act? How would they speak? How would they dress? How would they look at the situation? What solutions would they come up with. If you picture yourself as one of your heroes or someone you admire or aspire to be, it can take the pressure off. Think of yourself as an actor; you’re playing the role of a confident, well-spoken author who loves being in the spotlight.
- Be ridiculous. This is really fun, and it works for me when I’m shaking in my designer boots and have to do a speaking engagement in front of people, whether it be a sales presentation, class, or book signing; I imagine the worst-case scenario: What if while I’m speaking I slip and fall and I grab onto the book table, a mountain of books fall on me, I can’t get up, and the building catches fire all while splitting my pants open and spilling my coffee? I think of the visual, and I can’t help but smile and relax because the picture I just painted is ridiculous. When you use this strategy, you inject humour into the situation, and before you know it, you’ll be smiling. Plus, none of the scenarios you reviewed are probable, so if that’s the worst-case scenario, anything better than that is fabulous.
- Ensure-ance. If you fail to plan, you plan to fail. We’ve all heard that dozens of times, and it still rings true. The best thing you can do to boost your confidence as an author is to ensure that you’re prepared! Prepare what you’re going to say, prepare your table, prepare your handouts, prepare what you’ll wear and so on. The more prepared you are, the more confident you’ll be when you don’t have to worry about trivial things that can steal your focus.
Remember, people celebrate authors, literacy, and books, so never be afraid that you’re won’t be well received. Make a connection with your readers, have fun, and relax. View the bigger picture! How lucky are you to be able to share your work with the world?