So today I participated in my first author reading.
In this group of authors there were six readers including myself. There were two professionals who had traditionally published non-fiction books, three self-published authors including myself, and a young man who performed a slam poem and had a chap book of his work for sale.
There was maybe twenty people in the audience mostly (entirely?) made of friends of the authors. I didn’t invite any of my friends and none came.
I read second. Ten minutes for reading, five for questions.
I learned two things.
- I presented as well or better than any of the other five authors.
- You can get your book published by a well respected, traditional publisher and have it short listed for literary awards and you’re still talking to a handful of people in the basement of a library.
Considering this was my first experience giving a public reading and then sitting behind a table talking to people about my books, I’d say it was pretty much what I expected, and I actually sold some books.
If this is the road to becoming a successful author it appears to be a very long and extremely boring journey. It’s hard to believe that any time soon I’ll be sitting in a fancy ballroom, among the literary and publishing elite about to accept the $50,000 Giller Prize on national television.
Never have so many (authors) given so much (hours of toil on their books) for so little (the applause and passing interest of two dozen people).
And yet we continue to storm the beaches.
Stay calm, be brave, watch for the signs
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