In 2011, I’d been struggling with platforms and how to sell my books for years. Not that I’ve published a great number of books, I hadn’t. I’ve published only one but I’ve written several other books, the exact count is 38 romance and mystery novels, one, how-to book based on the workplace memoir I published and another memoir. I bet you’re asking yourself why haven’t I heard of this writer before?
Well, you haven’t because I’m one of those writers you mentioned in your piece, Strutting Your Stuff in Your Platform Shoes. You know the writer who is too shy to sell her books in public. I did one and only book signing in 2008 when my book “Mr. Jefferson’s Piano and Other Central Harlem Stories,” a workplace memoir first came out. I had an upset stomach for days afterward. Before you ask, yes, the book signing was a success. According to the bookstore owner, I sold out the store’s 50 pre-ordered books but it was still an unpleasant experience for me.
Several months later, I did a public speaking gig at a local library describing how to write a workplace memoir. It attracted six or seven people. It was a fun thing to do but I’m not sure it helped my book sales. Once again, I had butterflies in my stomach that refused to fly away for days afterward. Those two experiences made me realize I need to hone my public speaking skills but I get so nervous I usually back out of things that might help me overcome my fears. Do you have any suggestions besides the wonderful ones mentioned in Strutting Your Stuff in Your Platform Shoes?
BL Wilson (author of “Mr. Jefferson’s Piano and Other Central Harlem Stories” and the creator of a seminar called ‘How to Write Workplace Memoirs).
Above were the comments I’d sent to an author after reading her suggestions to shy writers such as myself, regarding public speaking and building reader platforms. When I didn’t receive a response, not that I expected one, I understood. Who has the time anymore to answer every single comment a person makes on a website? Simple answer nobody has that kind of time. Anyway, I’ve been trying to tear down my own walls, let some air in and let my fears go. So far, it hasn’t worked very well. I still get butterflies in my belly. I still have to use the bathroom five minutes before public speaking engagements. That’s after I’ve been in the bathroom at least five times beforehand.
Ah, well I’m too old to change. I’ll probably be this way until I’m six feet under.