- Marketing. Work out in advance what you would like to do and don't panic. Remember you will be promoting Book 1, even when you have books 2, 3 and 4 out. (For one thing Book 1 may become a giveaway or you may want to offer a bundle of all of your books at a discounted rate so you will still be talking about book 1 long after it initially came out). There is no deadline (other than possibly the one you set yourself).
- Be Yourself. Especially when it comes to engaging with people at book signings etc. You will come across as natural. That goes down well and is far easier to keep up as you are being you! No acts... (The one thing I have found really helpful is to see myself in the role of signing books, going to writing festivals etc. I ask myself how would I be at these things and the answer always is to be myself! Generally friendly, not pushy etc).
- Work things out in advance as much as you can. See points 1 and 2 above. Generally I've found planning things out can also help reduce nervousness. It won't remove it altogether but knowing what you are going to do can help boost your confidence, especially when doing something such as running a workshop for the first time.
- Rehearse as much as you can. See point 3. Rehearsal helps. You are literally schooling yourself, ready for your event. When it comes to public reading, project your voice, remember not to "rush" the reading (you'll stumble on words, I know, I've done this!) and ensure you've had a reasonable amount to drink (non-alcoholic before the event ideally!) so your throat isn't dry. Sounds silly I know but a refreshed throat does make a huge difference. Reduces the risk of coughing etc.
- Never lose the love of writing for its own sake. You must love what you do, otherwise how will you get through all the rejections every writer accumulates? It is highly unlikely you will make your fortune in writing (and most authors earn little) so what motivates you to write? The love of stories and the written word in the first place. Never lose that. It will come across as you engage with people too. People quickly spot when someone is just in it for the money. Instant turn off.
I'm Allison Symes and write fairytales with bite, especially novels and short stories.