This weekend I'm preparing myself (both mentally and emotionally) for our Fall 2009 Focus Meeting, which is where we introduce key sales folks to our list. I'll be presenting Hate List, as well as one of my boss's titles, and I am EXTREMELY nervous.
I'm not sure where the nerves come from. I regularly go to karaoke with some of my friends and colleagues and I love to sing. When I have a microphone in my hands, I might get a little nervous, but there is also a confidence. An "I can do this" surge that rushes through me. But giving a speech, even one that's only 1-minute long, is not singing. I think it's mostly a mentality. I was nervous when I first started doing karaoke, but the more and more I did it and saw positive reactions from everyone there, the more confident I got and the better I got. So maybe that's all I need for this---to do it a few times and see that I'm not bad at it, get more confident, and soon I'll be speechifying with the best of them. But for now, it feels like there is fire pumping through my veins and I can't wait until it's over.
I am excited to present Hate List to a wider audience though. Until now, the only folks who have read the manuscript are the people who work directly on the book (the designer, the copyeditor), the people who read it when we were buying it (the publications committee and a few editorial readers) and me. So to be able to share "my first" with more people is just so exciting. Terrifying, but exciting. I'm so proud of this novel and what a great job the author did, and I'm excited for more people to discover her---just like I discovered her---and fall in love with this book.
And they'll get to see the cover too, which I am glad was approved in time to make it into the powerpoint slide. It evokes such a great response and completely matches the gritty, emotional feeling of the book and it'll provide a great visual backup while I'm presenting.
So now, back to my speech. My boss suggested I read it 40 times to myself and then practice 20 times in front of the mirror. On Monday, I'll be practicing in front of her and I want to have this mostly memorized by that point. Wish me luck! And of course, I'll let you all know how it goes once it's over.