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/