Author Name: Marilyn Stewart
Marketing Subject: Biography; Australia; Aborigines; Spinifex; women; cross cultural
Where one grows up molds a person’s psyche with its culture and habits. By thirteen I rarely spoke at all and not in English. I had never gone to a library or read a book.
A teacher in the 8th grade began reading to us after lunch, always stopping in an exciting place. Soon, if we wanted to learn how the book ended we had to check it out of the library.
I felt compelled to write my story, but releasing it to the public was hard. The rejections rolled in without a publisher ever reading the manuscript. A biography of a kunmanu, (low profile person, without a “name”) I was told, just wasn’t a top seller. I began checking into what was out there regarding Self-Publishing and decided Infinity appeared to have my interests at their core.
The book was completed. I sweated if I had to speak in small groups and my worst nightmare was that I would ever have to speak in front of a crowd. My husband’s loss of hearing turned out to have a side effect of blessing. I learned to enunciate words clearly and loudly. People began asking me to speak to their groups about the Indigenous people of Australia (aborigines) and my upbringing. After much practice (in front of my dogs) I accepted a speaking engagement.
In order to help my sales I have done the following:
taken an accredited three month story telling class at a nearby college.
Made and given out a fan fold flyer and business cards
entered craft shows with crafts plus my book(s)
created large magnetic signs for each side of my car
I tape my talks in order to find mistakes and listen to what I do during a pause. I find this brutal, but effective. Over the years I’ve heard many speakers in various venues. I realized that all this time I had subconsciously been critiquing them. Remembering things I had not appreciated from a speaker, gave me insight to set up my own rules.
I learn about an audience before I speak to them. If they roam the country in their RV’s, I gear the talk towards the nomadic and simple lifestyle of the Aborigines. If it is just women, I speak to their interests. When speaking to children I omit a lot of facts and graphic information. To them I dwell more on outback choices and consequences using a host of visuals.
I have had people ask if my books were self-published and when I answer “yes” they put their hands behind their back and say, “I wouldn’t touch one for anything!” It can be hard out there.
I have now done over 100 talks to a wide variety of groups. When Survivor Australia was on I did a 4 minute segment on live TV. I have also done a 20 minute radio interview.
This summer I taught a writing class in an RV park and used Infinity’s red book for one session.
Each person needs to find what is right and works for them.