As you all know, I am going to the NYC Backspace Writers conference in two days. Two days! This is my first conference and to say that I’m nervous is an understatement. A few things have helped- mostly preparation- getting everything formatted and printed, with all the t’s crossed and the i’s dotted (those are actually pretty easy since the computer is very conscientious about dots on i’s and crosses on t’s- it the manuscript formatting that has me seeing stars).
Another thing that helps is a quote from a blog that says basically this: Don’t go to the conference as a crusading knight, ready to beat unsuspecting people over the head with your book. Think of yourself as your book’s chaperone, accompanying it to the conference and showing it off the best that you can.
When I think of the book I’m chaperoning, this whole conference thing gets a lot easier.
A few weeks ago I held a facebook contest regarding my blog and the prize was a free pdf of my book, Bleeder. Now, before this experience I had given my book to a teen girl I’d never met. You can read the whole story (including parts of her review) here.
I was thrilled with the winners of the facebook contest. All six of them are avid, discerning, honest readers, and they gave me in-depth, specific feedback.
Wanna see what those beta-readers said? Here you go!
“I’m about halfway through and there are two problems: 1) I am already upset that I won’t be able to read through the whole trilogy right away, and 2) I can’t tell people to go buy it.”
“The plot is great: Good pacing. There’s a nice balance of action and rest.”
“It was very effective in making me pay attention to every detail. I never knew what might come back and be important later.”
“Edan is probably my favorite. Give him more dialogue!” (to see the cast, go here)
“Okaaaaaaaayyyyyyyyyyyyy, just read your book. In one sitting. I expected it to be good, but I absolutely love it!””
“I like Angela… she’s self-aware yet not- very likable and real.”
“It’s a story that will definitely stick with me for a while.”
“Basically, whenever your book goes on sale, I will be buying it. And the next 2.”
“It took serious self-control to put it down and go to bed each night.”
“…I really can’t imagine this book going unpublished.”
“If it was in the store, I’d buy it and send all the other YA geeks I know to buy it too!”
“My younger cousin asked me what I was reading. I told her a little about it, she asked if she could read it.”
“…I am literally out of breath. AWESOME story, vivid characters, natural dialogue… I just loved it.”
And finally? I asked them all to sum up the book in two sentences. It’s a tall order, so most bowed out, but Leah was up to the challenge:
“Bleeder gives us the gift of a complex female heroine with motivations far deeper than the shallow concerns we’ve come to expect from a teenage protagonist. Angela’s personal struggles with her own illness segue seamlessly into a multilayered plot involving prejudice, fear, and government conspiracy that will keep the pages turning.”
With encouragement like that, how could I be nervous about accompanying this book to the Backspace conference? I henceforth banish all sweaty palms and wobbly knees!
New York City, here I come.