Many of us are waiting until we improve our physical appearance before we do signings, readings and promotional videos. Not long ago I had a fellow author friend decide not to take an elementary school invitation to read for their literary day because she really needed to get her hair done. It was a great time and opportunity missed because of roots showing.
There’s no judgement from me there – I too have felt the fear of doing something in the public eye because I wasn’t happy with my looks. I could launch into a whole spiel at this point about self-acceptance and love, but instead I’m going to tell you how to have the perfect body/hair/skin/clothes anytime, at a moments notice, for public appearances. Go virtual :)
When I came out with my first book I was desperate for anyone to notice me as an author while simultaneously being too shy to share myself as an author. The thought of doing a public reading, being on the radio or showing my face online terrified me.
To break the ice, I did my first reading in Second Life. I was nervous enough as it was, but not having to fuss about my pants making me look fat or should I wear make up or not freed me to focus on reading and engaging with the listeners. It also helped that we were all relaxing in our own homes – no one had to drive, set up, get dressed up… it was simple.
Anyone can do a reading in a virtual world like Second Life – there are live poetry slams, write-ins, readings, you can get an agent to set you up with a schedule, talk at literary events… the possibilities are only limited by you. And you have no excuses that you have nothing to wear.
Here’s some related links I’ve done in the past on the subject, and I invite my good friend and fellow author, Alexander M. Zoltai (who I met on a virtual Writer’s Island), to share his favorite Second Life author resources in the comments. He knows much more about the best places to go than I do.
A Scrabbler of Scribblers – a Happy Hour reading from a Jack Daniels bottle
Writers Need a Life – a virtual life
The first MWGA Expo – The Magazine Writer’s Guide Association in SL
An Interview with the SL Enquirer – my first in depth author interview
And meet Alexander M. Zoltai – an advocate for mankind