Both traditionally published and self-published authors sooner or later need to be able to do a “reading” of their book to an audience of prospective readers, hopefully at a bookstore so they can buy one after your scintillating performance.
But, especially for us on the introvert side of the scale, this is not an easy task. I’ve been presenting material and teaching workshops for many years and have become comfortable with audiences even though I’m a life-long introvert. Except for one time . . .
I had a chance to do a reading for my book, The Vampire Kitty-cat Chronicles, at Portland’s Wordstock Festival a few years ago. It did not, in my estimation, go well. I don’t know what the difference was between reading my fiction and presenting craft techniques at a workshop, but there was a big one. I was nervous and not really well prepared.
So I’m happy to share with you an article titled “10 Tips for Authors Making Book Appearances” by Rae Dubow. I wish I’d had them when I stuttered my way through my attempt. Since then I’ve also seen a talented author do something that’s not on this list that I think works. She talked a little about writing craft, too—at one reading she discussed voice and read from two of her books. I think the audience liked it.
Here’s the list of the 10 items. I wish I’d done a better job with number 5, in particular, and now I know I will in the future.
- Look as if you care
- Bring snacks and beverages
- Be kind
- Set it up
- Please, no spoilers
- Do not race to the finish
- Make eye contact
- Leave ‘em wanting more
- Have fun
Take a moment and check the article out. It may help you when you need to present your book to an audience of cold-eyed strangers.
For what it's worth.
© 2015 Ray Rhamey