A book event (a book signing) is a popular way for authors
to create awareness for their work. Most large publishing
houses require authors to participate in a 10-city book
tour, at the minimum. For self-published authors, it's a
good idea to arrange as many events as your time and budget
allows. But, no matter who's making the arrangements, there
are five key ingredients to making the event a success:
1. It is very important to plan your book event carefully.
This means knowing exactly what you're going to say and how
you will say it. Some authors believe that they can just
wing it, relying on the audience to provide questions for
discussion. Leaving the content to the audience to define
is a poor idea. The author should take the lead. Audiences
are there to hear more about the book, usually before they
buy it. Have a plan for what you are going to say. You'll
feel much more confident, and then if the audience is
familiar with you and your writing, you will have that much
more to enrich your talk. Remember the purpose of the book
event: you are there to convince people to buy your books.
Be prepared, and don't leave things to chance!
2. Keep it interesting, build a relationship with the
audience, and leave them wanting more. More, is for them to
purchase a copy of your book. If you've written a book,
then you have a story to tell. Connect with the audience,
take them into the palm of your hand, and make them want to
hear the end of the story.
3. Practice so you are natural, be consistent with who you
are as a person. Even the greatest speakers practice their
speeches before they give them. Have you ever watched the
Oscars and cringed at some of the acceptance speeches? Have
you ever been captivated and want more from the actors?
What's the difference in those speeches? The amount of time
and care that went into practicing what they were going to
say, and to whom.
4. Keep to the time frame. Tell your story, but don't
overstay your welcome. Practicing your speech allows you to
time your speech. That sense of time makes it possible to
shift naturally from building a relationship, telling the
story, and moving to the business portion of the book event.
5. Allow time to tell people about the book itself, what
it contains, and how it completes the story you just shared
with them. And don't forget to tell people how they can own
a personal copy! After all, that's the reason you are there
in the first place.
Marilyn J. Schwader is creator and publisher of the "A
Guide To Getting It" book series. Her articles on topics
related to books are published in ARE Books News the leading
resource on-line for information about books. Visit the
complete archive of articles here: http://www.arebooks.com/