Last Saturday I attended a local author reading, it was at a new venue – a local coffeehouse, Social Grounds Coffeehouse. The cafe owner is welcoming all local artisan’s to display or perform giving the community a new place to enjoy the arts.
Although this is not my first public reading, there are always steps to take in preparation.
- Firstly, you must determine what you are going to read. If you have several books, will you read from a new one or something you feel will grip the audience.
- Will the audience be young or adult? Tailor your readings accordingly OR take two pieces to read just in case. (Which is what I did for this reading)
- If there is a time limit to the reading, practice the passages out loud. It doesn’t work well to just read it. Practice inflection and if you are good at them, dialectics.
- Make sure to mark the start and finish of the piece you are reading, this will ensure you stay within the time limit.
- Remember to take promotional items with you including business cards, bookmarks and of course books. A small amount of petty cash too so you have change.
- Props are a good idea for children’s books. I have a soft toy I made for my Rumble book. I did take a couple of ornaments with me just in case children were present and I did read from Ockleberries to the Rescue as well as from The Rython Kingdom.
- Depending on the venue, there maybe a microphone, if not it is an idea to either purchase one or borrow one. Some venues have a lot of background noise so you want your audience to be able to hear you.
- Remember to smile, look up while reading and engage your audience.
- Be ready with answers to questions about your book and your writing.
The event on Saturday was an all adult audience which resulted in quite a long Q&A session.
What tips can you share about author readings?
Not the most flattering photo of Karen Probert and I – just wondering what we we discussing when the camera caught us! There will be another photo to add – hopefully!
Karen is a short story expert – her books and mine can be found at http://www.dreamwritepublishing.ca – Karen’s: Fragments of Lives & Colouring Our Lives. Mine: Rumble’s First Scare & Ockleberries to the Rescue and also The Rython Kingdom.
New photo from SGC staff – I had to share – loved the captive audience even though you can’t see them all.