I must take this opportunity to apologize for my absence over these last few months since my reading at Charles Beatley Central Library at the beginning of August. 2017 has been quite the year, and though I am so grateful that the numerous hospitalizations and changing of jobs and travel events that have occurred in family (not to mention my own new-ish job) have all had very positive outcomes, I won’t lie, they have been draining.
But, now that Thanksgiving has come and gone (an extremely enjoyable Thanksgiving day at that!), I am ready to get back to it! So aside from my apology with explanation of what these past few months have looked like for me, I am doing a double post to pick back up on the theme of that all-important elevator speech, of which we discussed many many months ago (March 12, 2017, to be exact).
The purpose of that elevator speech as you recall was to give you a chance to explain succinctly what makes your book unique from the tens of thousands out there in the market. But be comforted by the fact that that’s not the ONLY weapon in your arsenal for making your book stand out from the rest.
What I’m talking about specifically is that you can do other things to distinguish your book, your presentations, and yourself. One of the earliest bright ideas I had, for instance, was making my reading book format into this one, long, accordion style book.
Why and how did I come up with this idea?
When reading to an audience of tiny folks, you have to be close to them so that they can see the pictures in your book, and for those who can read, so that they can read along with you as you read your book. This is very HARD to do when you’ve got a crowd of tiny folks. I first started researching into how much it would cost for me to get 32 pages plus a cover printed at poster-size and the price tag was well more than I could afford. So, I started thinking of other ways to make my presentation of the book more impactful than this 8.5” square format.
I had a pile of defective books from the self-publishing platform sitting in my closet in my office. I started thinking about what a waste those books were, since not ALL the pages were messed up. And then it hit me, that I could take those individual pages that were good, and somehow re-use them in some way. And then I remembered that back in college, our school’s museum had an exhibit on children’s story books, one of which included was David Wiesner’s Freefall. Now, the beauty of this book was not only that the illustrations were exquisite, but that he had drawn the original artwork on one long scroll of paper. And I thought, what if I did something like that?
So after many scotch tape fiascos, I finally emerged triumphant with a uniquely formatted book with which to use at my presentations. And I tell you, with the audible gasps and wondrous faces I see each time I start to unfurl this thing at events, I have a feeling these presentations left a “unique” impression on the kids.