Established authors already know the many tips for a successful author talk. A few of the standard ones are:

  • Publicize your events everywhere and anywhere.
  • Rehearse. Rehearse. Rehearse.
  • Time your presentation
  • Read just enough.
  • Leave time for Q&A.
  • Accept all means of payment. Invest in a Square for credit card transactions. 
  • Collect emails to send a personalized thank you. The list can be useful when you publish your next book. 
  • Be grateful.
    • If you only sold four books you could have sold none. You now have four more readers. 
    • I read somewhere if you’re not a celebrity or a best selling author, 4-7 books sold is the norm. 
  • Be prepared for anything! 
    • More on that later.

I discovered how important audience connections are for success at a recent Narragansett talk with 20 people in attendance.

I carefully selected readings, photographs, and video clips I felt would resonate with the attendee’s. The presentation generated many questions about my trip. What followed was a curiosity about me and my life outside of being an author. As if on cue, I decided to give away a little bit of myself. I revealed a few of my character foibles with self-deprecating humor as it relates to  “Life with Ellie” and tied it to what I had written in Big Red.  The result: The room filled with laughter and included several individuals who eagerly identified with my antics.

I realized the most important thing that night was to make the 90 minutes worth the effort to come and spend time with me. Selling books was secondary. Maya Angelou once said: “At the end of the day people won’t remember what you said or did, they will remember how you made them feel.”  I hope I did, because laughter is one of the greatest gifts that you can give anyone. 

Back to—Be prepared for anything!

Keep in mind the unusual comes in many varieties such as: 

Someone playing a steel drum or a banjo made of a three pound canned ham while reading.

Someone showcasing a wired sculpture of Don Quixote while reading.

Someone who brings a dog.

 Someone who falls asleep in front of you while you speak.

These are the interesting things I have experienced as a listener and a reader. Nothing phases me now. I am fully prepared to go with the flow. It’s like throwing a party and never knowing how people will act or who or what will show up. 

Here are two links about having a successful author talk.

Reminders will be forth coming about my upcoming events!