Thursday, June 23, 2011

Get Up - Stand Up

We hear lots about platform these days. The thing you stand on to declare your presence to the world, and the presence of your book.

You poke your head above the crowd and say, “Here I am, worthy of your attention.”

Many of us flap around trying to figure out how to do that via the internet. I flap with you, born with neither thumbs texting nor fingers tweeting.

I accept the challenge because this is where I need to be. You, as an author building your career, need to be here also.

BUT – I won’t throw out my baby with the bath water, my baby being Public Speaking. In fact, I urge you to get a tub and jump in.

Okay, I hear you. You’re a solitary writing person. The idea of getting up in front of a crowd is way beyond your comfort zone.

My response – DO IT ANYWAY.

Start close to home where they won’t mind the clamor of you gagging over the heart in your throat or knocking in your knee zone.

So – what should you talk about? Talk about whatever this particular audience needs to hear and wants to know. Keep it about them, not about you.

Stand your book in front of you. Hand out a flyer telling who you are and what you do. Have your creds mentioned when you’re introduced. Sell and autograph in the back of the room at breaks.

That’s it. The rest is them, them, them.

Object lesson re: how well this works – Nora Roberts. I remember when she began speaking, first to local writers’ groups around the country. She was funny, warm, informational and inspirational. After her talk, she was in the crowd, talking one on one, making us her own one fan at a time.

Last year, at the RWA National Convention in Orlando, she did it again. Still making herself heard on behalf of all of us, despite longstanding bestsellerdom. It works for Nora. It can work for you.

Get up, stand up. Stand up for your life. Your writing life.

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