Last night, we went to a birthday party for a friend whose wedding we had attended earlier this year. At the wedding, I was talking to one of the guests about my books and I gave her a card with the website addresses of both of my books on it. She was very excited about knowing an author and she was looking forward to reading my work. My newest fan was also at the birthday party and she told everyone that I was a wonderful writer and everyone gathered around and asked me to tell them about my books.
Being a shy person, I am better when conversing one-on-one as apposed to several pairs of eyes staring at me while I speak. But I knew that I was expected to shine in spite of my fear of public speaking. So I told them a summary of each book, including my newest one. I handed out cards with the links and short synopsis so that when they went home they could download them. And as I answered questions about the characters and the locations of each book, I began to realize that those people were genuinely interested in my work and that they sincerely did want to read what I had written.
Yes, I have sold a lot of books by visiting forums and through my blogs and Facebook. But to be able to see the pure excitement on a person's face is truly more rewarding than merely seeing the sales numbers go up. Last night, I didn't care if any of them will buy my books, although they all assured me that they would. At that moment, I was an advocate for my characters, an ambassador for my books and I was very quickly getting over my stage fright. Having my new friends make me feel at ease gave me the courage to get my point across to them. That, to me, was better than any literary award. It will remain in my heart forever.
Thanks, everyone, for not only wanting to know about my books, but for encouraging me to speak to you...not as strangers but as friends.