On Saturday, November 11, 2017, I had the immense privilege of participating in the “Book an Author” event at the Milton Literary Festival. This was a sort of “speed dating” for books event, in which authors had three minutes to pitch their life’s work to an audience of book buyers. This is a reasonable approximation of what I said.
When I found out I was selected for this “Book an Author” event, I was thrilled, until I remembered that it meant that I had to do a three-minute presentation. I mean, I’m a trial lawyer. I’m not afraid to speak to crowds – or juries. I just don’t know how to limit myself to three minutes. I can hardly tell you my name in only three minutes.
So I thought about just standing up here and telling you to buy my books because they are short stories about my relatable life, so you don’t have to have a long attention span or ‘time to read’ to enjoy them. They are good and funny and you will like them, and that’s the beginning, middle, and end of the story, even if it does sound like bragging. Then I thought, no, that’s just not compelling. Plus, it’s easy for me to promote my client’s case – self-promotion is a skill I’m not entirely comfortable with.
So I thought about reading my bad reviews a la Jimmy Kimmel’s “Mean Tweets” but then I thought I was probably better off not highlighting the fact that some of these readers have no sense of humor and can’t be trusted to review a take-out menu, much less a book. Besides which, the only truly funny one was the poor, confused lady who complained that her laundry basket was never delivered.
So then I thought I’d give you a scholarly, erudite, yet concise talk about the subjective nature of humor, making an absurdist point that you can talk about nothing but humor and what makes something funny and still be as unfunny and dull as a committee meeting. I rejected that, too, and you can thank me later.
Some other rejected ideas:
- A puppet show illustrating the time an armadillo tunneled its way into my bedroom through the air vent.
- An interpretive dance while wearing mismatched shoes to the tune of the Elementary School Band for the sole purpose of hoping that someone will record it and YouTube it and my kids will see it and be more embarrassed than they already are by my very existence.
- Pointing out that the more of my books you buy the closer I am to completely hanging up the whole lawyer thing, and really, wouldn’t the world be a better place with one less lawyer?
- Shameless begging.
- Promising that all proceeds will go to “The Human Fund.”
These are all terrible ideas, right?
So, I finally concluded that my first instinct is the best one: a blatant sales pitch. You should buy my books because life is too short not to laugh at every available opportunity. My books are politics-free and guaranteed not to cause arguments over Thanksgiving dinner. They make great stocking stuffers and teacher gifts and there’s nothing in them that will offend your MeeMaw. (I only swear like a sailor in real life, not in print.) I’m not edgy, I’m just living on the same edge of the same cliff as every other middle aged middle class middle weight working mom. My books are relatable and fun and no, don’t ask me which one is the best one because they are my children and I refuse to pick favorites. You should choose my books for your book club because you’d be surprised how far I’m willing to drive if it means I might sell a book.
In conclusion: buy my books because it will make me happy. And we all need a little more joy.
P.S. The Milton Literary Festival was awesome and you should totally go next year.
If you enjoyed this and want to read more like it, visit Lori on Twitter, or on Facebook. Lori is the Readers Favorite and eLit award winner for her latest release, “You Know I Love You Because You’re Still Alive.” She is also the author of the bestselling books “Mismatched Shoes and Upside Down Pizza,” and “The Armadillo, the Pickaxe, and the Laundry Basket.”
Lori B. Duff is an award-winning author who practices law on the side. Her latest book, “If You Did What I Asked in the First Place” was awarded the Gold Medal for humor in the Foreword INDIES awards in 2019. You can follow her on Twitter at @LoriBDuff and on Facebook. For more blogs written by Lori, click here. For more information about Lori in general, click here. If you want Lori to do your writing for you, click here. If you want Lori to help you market your book, click here.