You wrote a book, you sent it out to some editors and agents…and it wasn’t accepted. Are you feeling like giving up? Are you wondering if its possible to do it all on your own? Do you need some inspiration and encouragement?
Meet Susan Conrad, someone who knows a little bit about persistence and going it alone after her 1,200-mile solo kayaking journey to Alaska, as well as how to get out and tour with her book in unique ways that reach today’s audiences.
And you can find her at the upcoming Chanticleer Author Conference—CAC17—March 31st to April 2nd where she will be teaching My Life as an Unconventional Book Tour and be around to talk about the many things she has learned and experienced.
As part of our spotlight series, we asked Susan our five questions to get her perspective on professional success.
1. When did you know what you really wanted to be?
Well… I’m 55 now and I’m still pondering what I’ll be when I grow up. When I was a little girl, my best friend and I had these reading contests to see who could read the most books in any given week. She always won, but I devoured every adventure book I could get my hands on: Trixie Belden, Nancy Drew, Huck Finn, Tom Sawyer, The Hardy Boys, you name it! That same friend and I also had feverish letter-writing contests. That was back in the day when people actually wrote letters, with a spiral notebook and Bic pen! We’d even get out an old-fashioned envelope, lick a stamp, and send our ridiculously lengthy letters off with the mailman. I had such a confusing childhood that I don’t think I saw myself as growing up and being much of anything, but the magic of words—and the places they could transport me—definitely consoled me.
2. What was the biggest challenge you faced?
Not believing in myself.
3. How do you define success?
I’ve never embodied the traditional view of success: money, big job, material possessions, etc. When I’m doing what I love, when my heart zings, and I feel good about myself, when I feel I’ve connected with others and contributed to something bigger than myself, I feel I’ve been successful. It’s a personal thing.
4. How long did it take to achieve your success?
“Achieving success” is an ongoing process. It takes time, patience, and hard work to achieve our biggest dreams. Somedays it’s being successful at simply feeling content with where I’m at in life. Other days it’s not leaving my keys in the refrigerator. Will I feel I’ve achieved success when Ellen Degeneres calls me (move over Oprah)? Hell yeah!
5. What is the best advice you have ever received?
If you’re going through hell, keep going!
If you have not registered for CAC17 yet, what are you waiting for? Susan Conrad and more fantastic speakers (including yourself possibly, if you register before the schedule is full) will be sharing their experience and knowledge about writing books, selling books, and everything to do with being a successful author.
My Life as an Unconventional Book Tour – Gone are the days where an author simply reads, opens the floor to Q&A, and then signs books. Your audience craves engagement, and you want them to leave with your book in their hands—and with vivid memories in their minds. Learn how to: find your audience, generate clever promotions and land the venues you want, organize and present a killer book tour and not go broke doing it, set the mood, engage and dazzle your audience, and more.