Tips From My First Author Reading and Signing
I had my first reading and signing for Banished Love on Saturday at Readmore Books in Taunton, Massachusetts and it was a fantastic experience.
A multitude of friends and family came to support me and hear the reading and it was a wonderful experience. Here are a few tips I learned.
1. If possible, plan at least a month in advance for your reading. This allows plenty of time to get the word out.
2. Make postcards or some other type of event announcement that can be sent out to friends and family. They can also be posted in local stores and at the bookstore. Be sure to purchase postcards that give you space to write a personalized invitation on the back. I think that personal note meant a lot to people and encouraged many to attend the reading. I used Vistaprint and they turned out really nice.
3. Send out an email to those on your email list.
4. Post an announcement on your Goodreads/ Facebook/ Webpage. I was able to place a small announcement in a local newspaper and at least one person at the signing came after reading about it there. Get the word out any way you can.
5. If you are an indie author, ensure you have plenty of books for your signing. Order more if need be.
6. Determine what you want to read and then practice it. I read my section every day for at least a week, fine tuning the pace. For me, it was ensuring I read slowly enough!
7. Maintain good contact with the store who has so kindly agreed to host your reading. My independent bookstore even arranged to have me on a radio show the day before the reading.
8. Bring some goodies to the store for everyone to enjoy. We brought cookies and sweet breads and they were a huge hit. If you live far away from the store, ask if the store will have anything for those attending. It’s a nice touch.
9. At Readmore Books, the space for the reading was situated at the rear of the store. However, as people began to trickle in, I tried to stand more toward the front of the store to greet people. I tried to welcome everyone who came. Although at this reading I knew most who were there, there were a few I did not know and they seemed pleased to meet me and to have me welcome them.
10. A good friend stood directly in my line of vision and smiled at me the entire time I spoke. I had not asked him to do that, but every time I started to feel nervous, I would glance his direction, see him smiling, and my nerves would settle. If possible, find that smiling person in your audience and focus on their encouragement.
11. Have a friend record the reading for you. My goal is to put the recording on Youtube in the near future.
12. Read in a loud voice. I may not have spoken loudly enough for those in the rear as there was a large crowd, so be sure to speak loudly.
13. One tip I forgot to do, which I will want to do at my next signing, is to hand out sticky notes for people so that they spell their names for me. People looked at me strangely as I asked them to spell out their names, but I wanted to ensure that I was spelling it correctly as I signed their books.
14. Most importantly, smile and have fun! No one knows your book and your book’s world like you do and there is no one who is more passionate about it than you. Share that passion and enthusiasm with those who are there and you will have a wonderful time. If you are a writer, I hope you are able to do a reading as it was a wonderful experience. I enjoyed speaking about Banished Love, the extensive research I had done, and sharing my passion for writing and creating with those present. If you’ve done a reading, what was it like?