At the beginning of this year I was excited about many of the speaking engagements I had planned for the release of my book, A Broken Tree: How DNA Exposed a Family’s Secrets. This summer, I was scheduled to speak at several conferences, most of which were genealogy and family history related , along with two DNA workshops. I also had several book clubs I was scheduled to speak at. But by March of this year, things began to take a nasty turn for the worse because of the spread of COVID 19. By the middle of April, more than half of my conference speaking engagements were cancelled with the promise of, “next year if things get better.” After a month, every conference I was scheduled to speak at was cancelled.
After brooding for a few weeks about the lousy turn of events, I decided that even if all the conferences I was planning to attend were not going to take place, I can still speak at book clubs and smaller family history meetings that were being held in people’s homes. With the help of Zoom, the online conferencing app, I can literally meet with groups in the open air of their back yards, in their homes or any place they feel safe from the coronavirus. The first Zoomed book club was a bit bumpy as we worked out a few technology bugs, but it wasn’t long before we had it down and things were going smoothly.
On May 30th I attended (via Zoom) a full day Writer’s Marketing Conference given by well-known author Maria Murnane. I learned some excellent ways to reach out and get my book into the hands of the people I knew would like to read it.
There is a lot of work for me to do now, but it’s great knowing that not even a worldwide pandemic can stop authors from getting their books seen by thousands of perspective readers who now have a lot more time to entertain themselves with what we write. I’m excited about the potential of what can be done.
Photo by Edwin Hooper
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