Saturday, June 22, 2013

Epigram Sales Conference

Braving the deadly haze that has engulfed our country, I risked life and limb to head to the Epigram Sales Conference on Friday to talk briefly about  two of my Sam, Sebbie and Di-Di-Di books that will be republished by Epigram before an audience of  librarians, book buyers and publishing industry big wigs.  The things I will do for my craft!

My nerves began to kick  in. I hate getting in front of an audience to speak about my books. It terrifies me and the only kind of audience I feel comfortable in front of is the kind that requires afternoon naps and diaper changes.  In other words either the very young or the very, very old. Thankfully Emma and Ken were in attendance so that was reassuring, although neither of them fall into those categories.

Also promoting their upcoming books were authors Emily Lim, back from her triumphant visit to Rottnest with SCBWI WA, Adan Jimenez and Felicia-Low Jimenez, creators of the Sherlock Sam series, Jason Erik Lunberg author of the Bo Bo and Cha Cha books, and poet/author Cyril Wong  to  name a few. I felt like that Sesame Street song--one of these things is not like the other, one of these things just doesn't belong.  But when have I ever belonged? 

Sheri, my editor, was not in attendance as she was in haze-free New York, had sent me a list of topics to touch on. OK, so I ran through them, but when it came to crunch time those answers got flushed out of the toilet of my mind.  So after Emily Lim executed an eloquent and well-prepared presentation, it was my turn. 

I stumbled to the front of the room and said: "Hi, I'm David Seow but my full name is David Seow Buy My Book." Silence, silence and uncomfortable silence followed. So this was what it felt like  to die in front of an audience. I felt the dam holding the contents of  bladder in check start to collapse. I wanted to pee. I needed to pee. In fact, I think I did pee a little in complete humiliation.  And then there was a polite trickle of laugher.

So with a hazy, rocky start, I began to get incredibly flubbergated - that's right I mean flubbergasted, not flabbergasted- that I ended up mumbling and rambling throughout my two minute presentation or perhaps it wasn't even that long.

Then there came the other presentations, which made me feel like an even bigger loser because everyone spoke so well. "It went well," Emma said with a smile, trying to make me feel better. All I knew was that I needed a drink. The other authors did a great job with their presentations and I felt even worse...I needed some cake!

After the presentations were over it was time for champagne and cake, to celebrate the upcoming birthdays of Epigram's big boss Edmund Wee and author Phua San San. I downed a glass of champagne and washed that down with some chocolate cake and a handful of peanuts.

Before heading off, I chatted Shiuan and Annabelle from National Arts Council of Singapore. I hadn't seen Shiuan since London, so it was good to catch up. This was my first time meeting Annabelle as we've just communicated via the phone or email. Having met me in person, I believe she would like to return to email  and phone communications, if at all! 

With the haze lifting from the horizon, Emma, Kenneth and I headed to Junction 8 for  dinner  before Emma headed off for a six week holiday in the UK. Six weeks! Have a good time, Emma. See you in two months' time.

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