I'm a fairly successful blogger. (Around 1200 hits a day, during the week--less on weekends. Apparently I attract people who should be working.) Anyway, what my true dream is, is to be on the LDS speaker's circuit. I realize I can't get a job visiting Stake Conferences (and truly, who would want to?). I'm not a religion professor, so the whole know your religion stuff is out of reach for me. But, women's conferences, youth conferences, that Deseret Book sponsored "Time out for Women" thing. I want to do that.
I'm actually a good speaker. And once upon a time, I was a professional trainer, so I know I'm good in front of a crowd. Give me a clip on microphone and I'm ready to go. But, I think I need to publish a book to get noticed. (Somehow I doubt even an Ensign article will do what it takes.) Do you think this is true? Deseret Book isn't going to have me on their speaker tour unless I publish with them, so in order to fill my dream, do I have to 1. write a book and 2. get Deseret Book to publish it? Is there another way? If there isn't another way, is it best to write a doctrinal book, humorous "women's issue" book, sappy "women's issue" book, or fiction?
I realize this is probably a funny question to ask a publisher, but I figured you'd have greater insight than I do on this issue. I suppose you love for your authors to do this type of thing because it sells books. Thanks!
This is funny. Well, not funny ha-ha, but unusual. It's the exact opposite of most people I talk to on a regular basis, who write a book and then want into the speaking circuit as a way to promote their book.
I'm not sure I can fully answer this question, so readers, please chime in. This is what I know. It is difficult to get into the LDS speaking circuit, particularly the BYU women's conferences. There is an application process. You have to send a video. And it can take years. It's easier to get in to the BYU-Idaho conference, and once there, you have a stepping stone to BYU in Provo.
Time Out for Women is one giant commercial for Deseret Book and their products. That's not to demean it or say it isn't useful or helpful to those that attend. From all I've heard, it's a wonderful event and enjoyed by all. But you do have to have a DB book or product.
You don't need a book to speak at youth conferences or enrichment nights. What you need are a few people to give you a start, do a fabulous job and then word will spread. It's easiest to do this if you have a timely topic to discuss that would be of interest to these groups—literacy, last days, finances, etc.
The reason authors have an easier time breaking in to the speaking circuit is because their book sets them up as an "authority" in their subject area. It's a credential. You can get your credentials in other ways—like through a successful blog. But you need to find someone who will get you started, and I'm not sure how to do that.
If you do decide to write, what you write depends on what you want to speak about. If you want to speak on doctrinal issues, write a doctrinal book. If you want to speak on women's issues, write a book about that.
Readers? Are any of you popular LDS speakers? What advice do you have?