I did exactly what I coach women in corporate not to do. I under-sold my work. I forgot that representing my novels to their advantage is simply smart business. I didn't give myself enough credit. It's hard to get published, and I managed to get a book contract with a publisher. This is a big accomplishment. I'm also thoughtful about what I put in my books. Like many authors who strive to constantly improve, I'm hyper-critical of what I've put out in the world. My series evolves with each book and will continue to do so.
I need to stop internalizing every little critique and look at the big picture. My reviews are strong. I can write. And doggone it, people like me.
How can we separate "bragging" and accurately representing a skill-set? Where is the line between the two? There's a difference between confidence and over-confidence, but how do we get better at embracing one without crossing over into the other?
All three of us expressed discomfort with pitching our work, so the first two days at the convention we stepped in for one another. I loved what they said about my series and found the repeated line "Seattle vampires that actually kill people!" entertaining. Friday night, I verbally let go with my husband, expressing my frustration and confusion. This led to an epiphany. I would embrace the conference vibe and have more fun. Most importantly, I would be proud of my hard work and represent myself with pride and honesty.
In addition to not being shy about my accomplishments, here are a few more learnings from this convention:
- Cosplay is good. It's a conversation starter and easy way to find something in common with other people.
- Freebies are even better! Tiffany Pitts brought x-wing, lego, and star trek themed crayons. We used her dalek and Serenity chocolates as freebies with purchases.
- Embrace the props. Tiffany had a rancor that doubled as a candy dish. It got more commentary than all of our books combined. My Boo vampire stuffy also was a hit.
- People love badge ribbons. I'm investing in Yay Vampires! ribbons for next year.
- Fantasy themed cons aren't the best for QBR codes and tech based connections. Each con has its quirks, so be flexible.
- Canvas banners are eye catching and draw in customers.
Do you struggle with selling your work? If not, what advice would you offer to authors who do struggle?