Much of what we talk about at WWW is how to “win friends and influence readers” using your online suite of tools, from your author website to your social media presence to finding influencers. But it’s important –critical even– to remind ourselves of the value of cultivating real, in-person connections, too.
On Friday, several members of the WWW team headed to Columbia, SC for the SC Book Festival. And it’s been both fascinating and enlightening to watch authors and readers interact “live” in and around the festival’s classrooms and exhibit halls.
Some authors have been invited to speak at panels during the three-day event. Others have been chatting with readers in booths and during signings.
And every single one of them will tell you that this is perhaps the most difficult part of being an author (well, this and query letters).
After all, authors are more typically happy hiding out in their favorite writing space, with only the laptop or notebook for company.
But if we can push past that to learn a bit of small talk, to introduce ourselves to new readers (yes, strangers!) and find some common ground, there’s so much good that can come of our efforts.
Local literary hero https://groups.csail.mit.edu/cb/paircoil2/?pdf=no-essay-scholarships-2015 follow link https://artsgarage.org/blog/thesis-binding-university-of-birmingham/83/ https://lajudicialcollege.org/forall/recruitment-dissertation/16/ ajanta pharma kamagra st uk essay writing services buy college research papers civil war essay popular critical essay editing services buy critical thinking essays sample persuasive essay how to do the research project can anybody use viagra http://teacherswithoutborders.org/teach/montserrat-volcano-case-studyv/21/ student essays online https://aspirebhdd.org/health/addiction-to-viagra/12/ follow url https://scfcs.scf.edu/review/how-to-write-a-12-essay/22/ viagra uten resept essay writing service canada help in writing IT paper narrative essay examples about friendship mark twain essay german language executive resume writing service melbourne https://pittsburghgreenstory.com/newyork/thesis-driven-essay-examples/15/ https://groups.csail.mit.edu/cb/paircoil2/?pdf=postmodern-essay-generator grishma ritu essay buy paper gift boxes online india research paper description viagra super active plus what to write a college essay on go to link Pat Conroy knows this. If you’ve ever stood in a (long, very long) line to get a book signed by Pat, you know that as each and every person steps up to the table, Pat sticks out his hand and says, “Hi, I’m Pat Conroy,” inviting each and every reader to introduce herself, too. Beyond his incredible talent, Pat is also loved and respected by readers because each and every reader Pat meets feels loved and respected by him, too.
Here are three ingredients we witnessed among the authors selling the most books at the festival:
1. Smiles that light up the room: Nothing puts a reader more at ease than a warm smile from the author on the other side of the table. Believe it or not, that reader walking up may feel intimidated by you. Because, whether you know it or not, you’re a celebrity!
2. Persistence: Some readers walking by booths weren’t interested in hearing about “Sam Author’s” latest book. “Sam Author” didn’t blink an eye, but just looked to the next reader walking by and launched into their book description and conversation once again, genuinely and with enthusiasm. And more readers responded and stopped to buy a book (or two!). Not everyone will love our work and what we have to say, but if we give up, we’ll miss those that will!
3. Finding Common Ground: While it’s okay to talk about you and your book at a festival or signing or panel, don’t forget your audience; put them first! For those of us who are shy, this can be a challenge, so think in terms of finding that “thing,” that wee bit of common ground that can lead to a genuine connection and conversation. Maybe it’s to admire a piece of jewelry, or a blouse, or a hat. May ask about the other books they’re carrying. Inquire what brought them to this festival or your signing. Don’t just seem interested; be interested.
Not only will this open up your readers to know you appreciate them, but it takes the pressure off you as an author to feel as if you must be performing for your audience. You don’t have to perform; just have a conversation…
Interesting to note, in most cases the most successful authors we observed were NOT the best-known authors. Many were debut novelists; some were self-published. But here’s a thought – we’ve no doubt they soon WILL be the best known and best-selling authors among their peers.