It dawned on me that I posted some general statement about "learning a lot" at the panel I did in Santa Barbara and talking to Sheri Fink, etc. It also dawned on me that perhaps I should share some of that learning, instead of just hinting, then leaving you all hanging.
You know that's not who I am.
What I learned can be summed up in two basic ideas, both of which seem like no-brainers, but were taught to me in a new way. Because sometimes you need to see things from another angle.
1. Value yourself. I have about 20 copies of the old version of Freezer Burn, and I was musing with Sheri about what to do with them. "Should I offer them as contest giveaways? Or sell them at a discount?"
Savvy Sheri was decisively against this. "No. You pair the book with some kind of trinket, give it a special autograph, and charge more for it as a Limited Edition."
Whoa. Instead of trying to dump them, I need to treat them as rare birds. Interestingly, when I mentioned this to Marla, she said, "It's a girl thing. We don't value ourselves enough."
So now I get to figure out what to pair with my books and how to sign them. By July. No biggie.
2. Write your thank you notes. I'm always grateful for whatever breaks I get, whether it's a nice review or a chance to speak or whatever. I always tell them how grateful I am, thankyouthankyouthankyou. But I don't always put it in writing.
From now on, I'm sending them a note. If I don't have their street address, I'll email them. Everyone will have a written record of my thankfulness. Because I AM GRATEFUL.
One more thing I took away from the panel was not really a lesson, but more of a result, a by-product, a residual that remained beyond the day: we writers ARE a tribe. Our community shares its secrets, supports its members, and rejoices in EVERY success.
That alone was worth the drive.