I am back from the first annual Book Bash in Orlando and I have one word to sum it up – AMAZING!   Even though this was my first major book signing event, I now feel that Book Bash should set the model of what a true fan/author book signing event should be. The main book signing/meet and greet with authors was on Saturday, June 29th from 12 – 4 pm, which for the amount of big name authors and lines that were formed for them, 4 hours was not enough. If you were lucky to get tickets, there was also a pre-registration event on Friday night where you got to meet some of the authors as well. If you didn’t go to pre-registration, there were festivities with the authors on both Friday night and Saturday night.  If you were staying at the host hotel, you got to see your favorite authors in the hotel bar, by the pool or just walking around, chatting with their fans and even taking pictures and signing books right then and there.  For me, the purpose of going to Orlando was two fold – one, I was due a mommy vacation with one of my best friends and two, I wanted to talk to some of my favorite authors on their book writing experience, especially the indie authors since I have decided I want to self-publish my first novel.  I narrowed down my questions since I knew I was going to have limited time with them, but I never got to really ask my specific questions.  Why? Guess who loses their voice on the airplane ride BEFORE the big event?  THIS GIRL!  It was pathetic and since I ended up sounding like a barking seal, I decided to limit my questions to one generic question – “I am writing my first book, can you give me some advice?”

 All the authors were wonderful and answered my question.  I heard a lot of the same advice – make sure you hire an editor, have a good book cover, do your research and read a lot.  But some authors provided some interesting advice that I wanted to share with:

Tina Reber – “Establish your network and make sure you use Beta Readers and Book Bloggers.”  Book bloggers have helped launch the careers of many Indie authors and I do subscribe to a lot of their blogs, but when you think about it, aren’t book bloggers just as good or even better than a “professional” beta reader? [divider top=”0″]

CJ Roberts – “Use a pen name because if you don’t, people will try to meddle into your personal life.” I have done a lot of thinking about this piece of advice and I am still torn on my decision.  Part of me doesn’t want to use a pen name because I want to see MY name on my big accomplishment.  When I decided to finally write my book, I never dreamt about it having a fictitious name on it.  But then again, it is really scary and creepy that complete strangers want to involve themselves in your personal life. While the concept of a pen name makes sense, you can still Google some of the big name author’s and the Internet will tell you what their real names are.  I am still undecided about what I should personally do and I would love more advice.[divider top=”0″]

Shayla Black – “Don’t let long periods of time-lapse between writing books”.  This piece of advice came up often.  The more successful the writer, the more books they have for the consumers.  I do have concepts for at least 4 more books, but I am struggling to even get my first book written.  I work full-time and have two children under the age of 4.  While I know these are legitimate excuses, I sometimes feel they are just that – excuses.  I can sit here and write this article that is taking me at least two hours and spend time on writing posts for my blog, but I haven’t touched my book since March.  There is something wrong with that.  Am I subconsciously scared to finish it?  Why am I self-sabotaging?[divider top=”0″]

Sylvia Day – “Write what you love and not what everyone else tells you to write.” This resonated with me because there are some days when I am reading other people’s work that I think mine might not be good enough or I have days where I think no one is going to want to read my book.  Negative thinking, negative energy – BLAH!  I need to keep focus and remember why I wanted to write a book in the first place.  FOR ME!

Book Bash exceeded my expectations.  Not only did I get some valuable advice, I also made some new friends.  I highly recommend that you become a fan of Maryse’s Book Blog (click here) and the actual Book Bash website (click here) to be kept up to date on future Book Bashes.   Maryse Black, who runs the blog and is organizer of Book Bash, did an incredible job and was able to obtain some amazing authors.  I want to thank Maryse Black and her crew, as well as all of the authors who took the time out of their professional and personal schedules to spend quality time with us fans. Book Bash will become an annual event for me and one day, I hope I am one of the participating authors.

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