I think you might have me confused with someone else.
I have attended events as a publisher, editor, writer, and consultant, but author events are so very different. In a great way.
Author events like book signings or launches are great ways to meet readers. People genuinely love meeting the author of a book. I know I do. Authors are a really great bunch of creative folk. They are deep-thinkers and imaginative. They have expansive intelligence, and love for the magic of story.
By the way, if you’re interested in knowing more about my author events you can find them on catherinemilos.com.
When people attend my author events, I look at it as an opportunity to connect with similar-minded people. And hey, if it’s a book we’re bonding over, even better. I’m a small, tiny, nobody author, so book-bonding (I just made that word up) is usually over other authors works, and I love it. Of course, I hope you’ll buy my books so I can make more books and earn an income doing what I love, but I attend author events with open curiosity and genuine interest in understanding what readers love and hate about books.
I also get to meet other authors. Authors are readers too, and great supporters of your work. If you’re an author or hoping to be one, reach out to fellow authors through social media, email, author events and conventions. They aren’t your competition, they’re your community.
But there’s this whole other experience flowing out of author events that I still don’t have a handle on.
An author event is a juxtaposition, nearing surreal. Maybe because I’m a small-time author, but there seems to be a weird attitude about authors I usually reserved for celebrities and I so wasn’t expecting to face. For the big names like Neil Gaiman or Gail Carriger, those exceptional few who make it really big as authors and enter into that world of celebrity, it is completely understandable. For me, it was – is – so totally inconceivable.
My events are small. I get to closely connect with readers, and I wouldn’t have it any other way. Yet, every time I attend an author event, or even just tell people I’ve published abook, it amazes me how star-struck some folks can get. I don’t see myself as any different from them, but they sure see me as different. The best way I can describe it is they see me as larger-than-life. Some how, the fact that I’ve published a book sets me apart.
Maybe it’s because I’m a realist, a little jaded by a hard life, that I’m having trouble with this. It’s most definitely because I’m green at the whole being the focus of a public event thing. I don’t view myself as any different than someone who works for a living. What I’m doing is my chosen profession. A profession that doesn’t pay the bills yet so I have to work two other jobs in order to do what I love. Maybe that’s it. Maybe it is because I don’t have the income I associate with a well renowned author that I just don’t see myself that way. Hey, you’d be surprised how little the average author is making off their books. My accountant that I can’t afford sure was.
I blame the ‘get rich quick’ perspective that some folks seem to have about book publishing and writing. Writing or publishing a book is the farthest thing from a ‘get rich quick’ opportunity. So very, very far. Throw a fish into the ocean and try to sell that specific one to fishers. It’s kind of like that.
What I’ve done is work. I’ve worked hard, learned on the job, taken an education in my field, and keep learning and growing as a professional. I have marketing plans, project goals, budgeting, and other business-type things I do. I’m no different than any manager, business owner, assistant, sales person, or office cleaner. I work desk jobs, retail jobs, contract jobs to get by; and, some days, I still go without things like facial tissue and food to make ends meet. If you’re a student, or work minimum wage, you know what I mean. Facial tissue is a luxury.
I just don’t see how that work sets me apart. I’ve been accused of being pragmatic, and I’m introverted as well, so maybe that’s it. Whatever the reason I still can’t wrap my head around how writing makes me different from readers. I read too. I love books too. I appreciate authors too. I work too. I am a nobody trying to earn a living and build a career out of what I love to do. I’m flattered, but, I’m just an average author. I think you might have me confused with someone else.