|Surrounded by books and readers!|
Author readings are a fun thing. I’ve attended a few in my time, and they’re generally enjoyable. Some deviation is always bound to creep into the system, so I thought I’d share my recent experience in the hopes that if you attend one, or are invited to read at one, you can be a bit better prepared. This isn’t a comprehensive list, by all means, but these are the major learning points for me:
People Will Buy the Book(s)
Thank you, thank you, thank you to everyone who attended whether in person or online! I really appreciated the support and the comments were fantastic. I was floored by how many books we sold. Not just THE CLOCKWORK DETECTIVE, but for those at the library we offered a deal on TEARS OF HEAVEN and HELL BECOMES HER and sold copies of those too. Definitely bring your current release, but also have other releases that you’d like to share.
Lockdown the Library Early
There are a couple of points on this one. The where and when of the thing are important, and the earlier you know, the better, so you can announce and advertise. Also, some libraries are willing to manage the sales so that the author can focus on the reading. Originally, that was the case for me, but at the last minute, the library decided they couldn’t handle it. We had to scramble to get cash and electronic payment in place.
A lot of support came in for attending the event from folk who would gladly have been in the audience. Distance prevented that. It wasn’t until a couple of days before that I realized Facebook is set up to stream quite easily. You can stream for up to 4 hours on a single event, which should easily cover the entire reading and Q&A. You can also stream on YouTube, but I wasn’t set up for that, so we missed an opportunity to tap another potential audience.
Have an external power source for your camera, phone, pad for the streaming. They’re not expensive. We used an old Anker external battery that I picked up about six years ago.
Also, a tripod is necessary. My wife’s arm gave out about half-way through, and when she tried to switch, the stream was cut. We got it back up and running, but a steady tripod would have solved all those issues.
Be Prepared to Take Questions
While I was certainly fired up to talk to those in attendance, the thing we overlooked was allowing online viewers to ask question and make comments. If we’d thought about it at all, we could have had a computer running, where the online folk could interact directly with me. This would have been a really great thing to offer, and we’ll definitely make it available next time.
Thank you again, so much, to everyone who attended, both in-person and online. Your support was felt throughout the entire event, and we had such a great time. We’ll definitely do this again as soon as possible and keep you posted on the details!
What suggestions do you have for future readings? Tell me in the comments below!