How does a college student feel when she walks into a hotel and is suddenly surrounded by so many professional authors? Well, imagine how nervous she’d be. That was me.
The AuthorU Extravaganza 2017 was not only the first Extravaganza I had ever been to, but it was also my first big leap into the authoring and publishing world that I have been so desperately wanting to inhabit. As AuthorU’s Intern, I had a small foot in it. This was different.
I’ve been writing since I can remember but I never took the next step to get anything published because:
- I never thought it was good enough; and
- I didn’t know what to do or how to do it, but because I was able to attend this event, I was finally able to get some confidence and answers.
After realizing that everyone there had, at one point, been in my position (a person just doing their thing, trying to do what they love), I relieved myself of all those nerves and met a lot of new people. Not all of them were authors. Some were experts in areas like social media, marketing, and speaking and others were just like me. Still, everyone had something to share with everyone that came. There was no way that anyone could leave without learning something new.
I took at least one lesson away from everyone I met and still—a couple of weeks later—I haven’t forgotten them. They had talked about making the most out of your writing, where to turn to for resources, how to market your book, and so much more!
Three things I took away:
- Market your book way before you’re finished with it. If it’s something that you want to publish, you’ll need an audience and that takes time! So start now!
- Don’t forget about social media. Us youngins are always on it (I’m super addicted to Facebook) and if you use a social media platform to market, we’ll be more likely to see it.
- Branding… Branding… Branding…. It’s extremely important!
The AuthorU Extravaganza 2017 was not only full of information on how to write and publish, but it was also incredibly fun. Everyone there had a smile on their face as they met with old friends and made new ones. The food was delicious! People would rush to get in lines just for a bite and there was even a comedian that made everyone laugh and clap and dance. Echoes of the laughter could be heard from every corner of the hotel, everyone seemed to be having a good time.
What was my favorite part, you ask?
Every minute of the event was important and fun but—to be very honest—my favorite part has to be the AuthorU Shark Tank. I had never seen a Shark Tank before- no, not even the show on TV—and it was such a blast. Someone would come up, pitch their book fast, and the panel (a group of obviously talented people in multiple areas of publishing) would ask questions about the book.
One question that popped up multiple times was about the audience and who the book was aimed toward. I thought this was a no-brainer but I realized that even I don’t pay much attention to the audience when I start writing. From now on, though, I will (oh, by the way, Hi You). After everyone was done asking questions, the panel would then offer services of all kinds to make the book better. This intrigued me because let’s face it, we all like to save money and every one of the contestants had done just that. They had walked away with thousands of dollars in winnings.
Maybe next year, this college student will take another step in the authoring world by becoming an AuthorU Shark Tank contestant. I hope to see you there!
Sierra Rakes is a student at Metropolitan State University majoring in Writing and Marketing and AuthorU’s 2017 Intern.
Author U is a non-profit membership organization dedicated to the author who wants to be seriously successful. Monthly education programs delivered face-to-face and online, The Author Resource ezine, BookCamps, and the annual Author U Extravaganza are tools designed for authors pre-, during and post-publishing of their books. Join AuthorU.org today.
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