Why you need to host a speaking event

Let me preface this by saying I am not an expert on this topic. I’m not an expert on anything, really. But, I feel I owe my perspective to my fellow creatives to help them out on their own journeys.

As a creative, you want to feel recognition for the work you do, and you want to be able to get the word out about that awesome stuff. There are many ways you can do this; social media, word of mouth, friends, family, and so on.

But another way, a more daring way, to get the word out is to book a speaking event. An author talk, in my world at least. This is essential, in my opinion, and not only does it help get the word out, it’s also a great way to meet the people who will read your work.

My experience is limited, but from the two author talks I’ve had so far, I can say that they have been invaluable. Yes, the turnouts may be small and yes, the events may be few and far between, but there’s no substitute for the passion that comes from a live audience. I’ve found that engaging with people at an event provides a lot of insight. You’ll learn about what parts of your work resonates, what elements of your writing are strongest and which ones need work.

Author talks also work as inspiration sessions, both for yourself and your audience. I find that talking about my journey and writing process gives others inspiration to start their own journey and acts as a reflection on all that I’ve done to get to this point.

All in all, author talks are a great medium for any creative looking to put their work out there. It can be hard to promote yourself and even harder if you’re not good in front of crowds, but that’s a conversation for another day. I hope I’ve encouraged you to take that step for yourself and get out there. Even if you don’t want to.

Thanks for stopping by.

What I've learned about publishing so far

My experience with the publishing industry can be summed up in one quote.

“Trial by fire.”

Now that’s not to say the whole process has been painful. Moreso, educational. When I first got serious about publishing my book, I literally knew nothing of the publishing world.

“Oh, I need to reach out to agents?” “Oh, I can publish a book by myself?” “Oh, Amazon publishes books?” “Oh, lots of places publish books!”

You get it.

So it was very much a trial by fire when I started to learn about all the steps necessary to successfully publish something. How you need to properly format your pages, adjust line spacing, create a table of contents for eBooks, get a professional author photo, create a bio . . . the list goes on and on.

But the greatest thing I’ve learned thus far, and what I wish to pass on to any budding writers reading this is; make sure you know how much money your distributors are taking from each book sale.

This has been the most important takeaway for me.

You want to make money but so do these companies who keep your books in stock. Be mindful of the percentages each company takes. Every company does it differently and you’d be doing yourself a disservice to sit idly by. I learned this the hard way.

Like I said, trial by fire.

Now, this is in no way my attempt to bash other companies for their practices. At the end of the day, everyone is trying to make money. Even me, a first time author. Of course, I’m more concerned with exposure than I am turning a profit right now, but its all good information to keep in mind, regardless of where you are in the publishing phase.

Hopefully you can take this simple but very important piece of information and apply it to the things you do in your own creative endeavors.

Thanks for stopping by!

Update: July 2019

Hello there and welcome back to my blog. It’s been a while since I’ve had any kind of formal update, so I thought now would be a great time to let you in on some of the things I’ve been working on these past few months.

This January, I released my book everywhere; Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Goodreads, even the trunk of my car. The following months were spent doing my due diligence to promote the book everywhere I could. Needless to say, it’s been a lot of hard work, but I’m happy to report that in the first 6 months I’ve managed to sell 100 copies!

As someone who’s never seen a single thing through from start to finish, this has been a huge personal accomplishment.

So what’s next? That’s a great question. I’ve been throwing a bunch of ideas around.

Sequel? Prequel? Expanded universe? Sellout the creative license to corporate? There are a lot of options!

Well, I’m not doing any of that. I’ve got a few other ideas in mind. For starters, I’m working on an anniversary edition of the book. It’s something I’ve wanted to do for a long time. It will be a special, limited edition version of the book with lots of extras but only available in small quantity for anyone interested. It’s currently in the works and you’ll learn more about it once I have more to show.

This month, I’m also headlining my second author talk & book signing. It will be on July 27th at the Fort Lee public library at 2PM. I would love to see all of you there!

But what about the actual writing? That’s a little less straightforward. Right now, I am working on a short story and will mainly be focusing on that for the time being. I have a lot of ideas, many of which are in no way related to The Tower of Blue or that type of story. But I want to get them on paper. My plan is to release each completed short story for free for anyone to enjoy and later on if any of them speak to me or inspire me to flesh it out more, I’ll turn it into a more traditional long-form story.

Rest assured, this isn’t the end for The Tower of Blue. It’s still my number one focus and there is more in store for it this year and in the future. I’m very thankful for all the support I’ve gotten and the words of encouragement. Seeing the feedback, positive or negative, from readers has made this long process worth every second.

Thanks for reading.

Cheers

November Update

Hey there, thanks for stopping by! It’s been a while since my last official update and a lot has been going on in the last few months. I’ve had two successful test prints of the book, gotten my first official review, approved the final draft of the manuscript and finalized the cover design down to the last detail. It’s been a wild ride and I’m very excited and anxious for the next few weeks.

So what’s next?

Publishing.

That will be the main focus of the next couple days, making this bad boy official. I get a lot of questions about what publishing means and if it will be available when published. The answer is a little complicated. When the book is published it will be an official searchable thing, however it won’t be available to buy just yet. After publishing comes pre-order. That’s where you can reserve your copy (physical or digital) and start the countdown to the official release date, where you’ll be able to hold it in your hands.

I urge anyone who is interested in reading the book to subscribe to the mailing list. Not only will you be notified once it’s ready to pre-order, I’ll also be giving out some bonus content. The details of that haven’t been ironed out yet, but rest assured you’ll get a little something.

Stay tuned for more updates in the coming days and thanks for reading!

The best laid plans

Editing is tough work. Nobody can deny that. But, it's very important work. In this writers opinion, it's the difference between an idea and a plan. An idea can take you as far as you can imagine, but a plan can take you as far as the end goal. Editing is the necessary evil that I think every writer has to confront at one point or another. And for me, it's a beast I've been fighting for quite some time.

For the past year I've been hard at work doing just that; taking the ideas, characters, plotlines and backstories I've written and hacking away at them with a hammer and chisel. It's been a very grueling process and it's made even harder when the editing process involves professionals who are doing the critiquing. It's been a test of patience and commitment, but in the end, it will all be worth it.

That's what I keep telling myself. When I read a bit of feedback that challenges my preferred method of storytelling or I'm told that I'm flat out doing it wrong, it takes a toll. It's verbal blood, sweat and tears.

I'm almost there, and all the feedback and editing are in service of creating a better finished product than I could have ever imagined.

It's all part of the plan.

 

If you have or are currently in the process of editing your own work, what's your experience been like? I'd love for you to share it!


Originally posted August 22nd 2018