Step out from Behind the Book!: The Importance of InD’Scribe and Face-to-Face
Updated: May 6, 2019
As most of you know, on September 17th I made the journey from Ontario to Palm Springs, California to attend the InD’Scribe author and reader conference. This was my first conference ever, and I thoroughly enjoyed meeting all the authors in attendance. What was especially nice was getting to meet my author friend, for whom I edit, Janet Brennan. She is such a nice person—and so is her hubby—and was too much fun to hang out with. I didn’t quite know what to expect from my weekend away, but must say I feel a strong book-conference addiction has taken root deep inside of me. I already plan to attend Sinfully Yours in Manchester, New Hamsphire (along with Janet again) in July, 2016 and will be travelling to Atlanta for Novel Experience in April.
I’m a very shy person by nature, until I get to know someone, and have a near phobia of large crowds. But knowing how wonderful it is to network with my author buddies on social media and harboring a fierce desire to meet my readers in person, I did as I always do and stretched past that fear. I also struggle with an extreme fear of flying, but have vowed a personal oath that these fears would never stop me. So I braved the unnatural human heights of 35,000 feet and faced those crowded rooms with as much courage as I could muster.
And met some of the most wonderful people I’ve ever had the joy to encounter.
Going to an event like this is invaluable, and if you’re an author, I highly recommend you go whenever possible. Everyone there was so nice, so it was easy for me to get over my fear—once the signing room was open. At the opening night party, Janet and I could be observed spooning the far wall. Our table neighbors, Susan Griscom, author of paranormal and contemporary romance, and D’Elen McClain, author of paranormal romance, kept us in stitches. Both were so personable and friendly that I found myself coming out of my shell in no time. All of the authors at the conference were the same way. They were happy to let me broadcast them on Periscope and talk to us about their books and strategies which have worked for them. Unfortunately, there just usually isn’t time for that kind of chit chat on Facebook or LinkedIn…and not enough characters for it on Twitter!
You just can’t get the same level of interaction that comes from face-to-face. Janet and I had no idea how to set up our table. With some glances around and suggestions from other authors, Janet’s hubby, Scott, returned with decorative items in no time—and Janet sweet-talked someone working there out of a sparkly, black tablecloth. Authors shared marketing ideas with one another at lunch—I personally revealed some of my best Twitter strategies. As we walked around, the others readily offered up swag ideas and told us where they had scored some of the cutest items like dragon jewelry and—my favorite—the bitty cowboy hats the bunnies love to wear (NOT!).
We collected business cards from everyone, and when I returned home, I added everyone on Facebook and Twitter. I love having those connections. Other authors are so generous in their willingness to share posts and offer advice…or comfort in moments of need. I also had another twenty-five authors join our Christmas Giveaway, which will be starting November 1st, making this our biggest and best group giveaway yet! And also offering even more prize options for our readers, whom we desperately want to keep happy!
But seeing all these wonderful people in person further ingrained them in my mind. When they put up a post, I think of their smiles, the sound of their voices, their generous and helpful natures, and that sticks with you in a way that online simply cannot deliver. Unplugging—and I’m on my laptop nearly nonstop, networking, at home—and seeing these authors in the flesh made me feel more like a writer. I was hanging out with people just like me! Joining the ranks of those who live part of our days in other worlds. They shared my struggles and all those eccentricities only writers have. At InD’Scribe, I felt I could completely be myself, which is something I don’t usually experience in my normal day-to-day. It’s good for writers to be with other writers. It’s sometimes good to step out from behind the book (or laptop)!
Check out my InD’Scribe page to see tons of pictures from the conference, featuring many, very-talented authors, shots from the RONE awards and a few of my personal vacation pictures—including one newly released shot of my terror-filled ride on the X2 coaster at Magic Mountain. It was simply too hilarious not to purchase!