Conference Tips

I recently attended my first Conference as an author – Left Coast Crime. I had a fantabulous time! It was far better than I’d anticipated. A few pointers that worked for me:

Swag (to giveaway at Author Speed Dating and to handout to potential readers and anyone within spitting distance): I created pens displaying my book cover and website, attached with a ribbon to my bookmark. The pens were a huge hit. In fact, I found a few bookmarks sans pens.

One minute talk: I had the happy challenge of explaining my book in one minute or less during the New Author Breakfast. Nerve-racking? Yes, but oh so much fun! I found it helpful to have my book in hand while on stage. It’s a confidence booster and reminder of what one is capable of accomplishing with a little (read between the words: a TON of) work and determination; a dream come true. My speech went something like this:

“I’d like to invite you on an adventure with me. In and around Southern California. With a heroine who lands a dream job in a movie studio, and is blackmailed into investigating a co-worker’s suspicious death. And, is persuaded to look into a catnapping, a possible alien abduction, and a low speed car chase. All because she’s the daughter of a renowned private investigator and together they cracked a few high profile cases. This is a recipe for disaster. MURDER AND OTHER UNNATURAL DISASTERS, which is the title of my book. I hope you’ll enjoy reading.”

I also mentioned the award my book won and my Conference panel (which was later on in the day). Much to my surprise, I wasn’t as nervous as I’d anticipated. No fainting spells, no stammering, no heart leaping out of my chest and landing with a thud in an unsuspecting audience member’s bowl of oatmeal. I survived! And it felt satisfying. But my survival wasn’t the best part. We new authors had assigned tables with our names posted. I was thinking who in their right mind would sit at my table? I was a nobody or maybe a very small, if not microscopic, somebody. But my table was full! And I made some marvelous friends, two of which bought my book. I got to meet the lovely Ruby from Victoria, Canada, and her equally wonderful friend, Anna. I sat next to another author, Annette Mahon, who, after my one minute babble, said that my book was one of four she’d starred to be read. Who could ask for more?

To top it all off, I won a beautiful quilt signed by four big-name authors in attendance. Hard to believe that the day before the Conference I’d wavered about going, worried that I couldn’t handle it. I would have missed a special opportunity packed with many happy surprises. Courage is to know that one is afraid, but to go forth and act anyway. So glad I did.

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5 Comments on "Conference Tips"

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CB Clark
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Wow, Lida! Congratulations on overcoming your fears. There’s nothing more frightening to me than talking about my book in front of a large group…which may explain why I’ve never attempted it. Your one minute spiel is great…no wonder you sold books. Well done.

KatieO
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Sounds like a really great experience! So happy for you!

vicky
Guest

Lida, your blogs are always so interesting. I love to read them. Congratulations on your “Left Coast Crime” conference.
I hope you enjoyed it as much as I enjoy reading your blogs.

Thanks