Recently, I had the opportunity to hear Candace E. Salima, founder of Valor Publishing Group, speak to a group of authors about professionalism. Ms. Salima counseled the writers to be professional now, even if their books won’t be out until later.
“You have to be able to speak about yourself and your books,” Mrs. Salima said.
She recommended that if any author feels insecure speaking about themselves or their books, that they enroll in a local Toastmasters chapter and perfect these skills before their books are published.
I’ve heard much said about the importance of building a following, of having a website, and even a blog. Nicole Giles wrote an excellent article about branding and finding your ‘look’ so that you can feel more confident when seen in the public forum.
However, until Ms. Salima spoke about Toastmasters, I hadn’t really considered the importance of the entire package.
As writers we know our checklist:
- Come up with a great idea for a story.
- Write said excellent story.
- Find a publisher for your story.
- Decide who you are as a writer, your schtik, as it were.
- Begin to dress/act/live like a professional writer.
- Become utterly comfortable with your ability to speak about yourself and your book in the public forum.
I think it’s rather common for us to fear live interviews and presentations—all the more reason to work on those skills now so that when you do become a popular author, you are the total package.
You’ve probably heard the term Triple Threat—in sports it denotes a trio of excellent players who work together to provide the ultimate challenge for their opponents. In musical theater, it refers to the person who can not only sing, but act and dance as well.
We need to be Triple Threat writers.
We need to be able to Publish an excellent work of literature. Present ourselves in a professional and appealing manner. And Promote ourselves and our work.
If you’re serious about your writing career, considering becoming a Triple Threat. Use the checklist from above, and see if there are areas you could strengthen now, in preparation for your amazing success later.