My first book reading went much better than I had expected and maybe some of the things I did to prepare for it will help your book readings as well. Open Books in Pensacola, FL was the host and it was tied in with an interview I did with the local free paper so I had some publicity leading up to it weeks in advance. Also, I created a Facebook event and invited the number of people allowed (500). And then I shared it and asked my friends to share it. Had 11 people say they were going and around 30 say they were interested. I think I ended with about 15 people at the reading. Anything for than my self and the host, I was going to consider it a success. Not only did I have a good time at the reading, but ended up selling 4 books as well.
The other thing I did was bring wine and beer. I brought a box of wine which equals about 4 bottles and a twelve pack of beer. I brought Costa Rican beer to tie in with theme. All the wine and beer was gone by the end.
The other good thing about the beer and wine is that it made for a more festive environment. We all mingled for about twenty minutes before we started and when I started I immediately started talking with the audience. And I encouraged participation. I wanted it to feel as we were all having a conversation about the book as opposed to me being the center of conversation. I tried to look at my self as a facilitator as opposed to the lecturer. And as you can see from the videos I’ve posted on YouTube, I think it went well. Feel free to offer your feedback in the comments on what you think went well and what you think I could different in the future. Or to add any tips you may have as well.
- Promote for weeks in advance
- Bring wine and beer. We also had light snacks like fruit and nuts.
- Mingle with the audience before hand.
- Encourage audience participation and act as the facilitator of conversation.
- Have fun with it.
I had to break the video up into multiple parts as the total video is 1hr long. So I broke it up into 15 minute parts. Enjoy!