On Thursday, May 10, 2018,I did a reading and book signing of my romantic suspense novel, Gotta Let It Go at the Enoch Pratt Free Library (Waverly Branch) as part of the Meet the Author Writers Live Series. I was super excited and couldn’t wait to introduce my characters to the audience.In preparing for this event which was secured by my publicist, Cherrie Woods (www.eclecticpr.com), I kept the following 5 tips in mind for a successful book reading/signing.
1. Advertise the Event. Once the date was secured with the library and flyers were finalized, I started my advertising campaign. I shared the flyer via my social media network on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Google+ and via my e-newsletter to my readers. I even boosted the Facebook post along with the event details. Within two days and even on the day of the event, I continued to advertise the event to garner more interest and thanking those who indicated they would attend.
This is so important because you want your event to be successful. So, it’s great when your friends and others show up to support you.
2. Practice. Practice. Practice. After selecting the excerpts (I selected 3 short excerpts but this depends on the time allotted) I was going to read, I started to practice. Yes, practice. Anyone can read the book but as a writer you have to engage your audience by selecting portions of the book that will appeal to your audience.
If you are afraid of public speaking, practice reading aloud in a voice recorder or in front of family and friends. I’m pretty comfortable with public speaking but I still practiced reading in front of a mirror.
3. Show up. If you are committed to the event you must show up. Even if you have an audience of one or many you must perform and give your best reading. Have fun when you do and be your authentic self. My audience consisted of friends from the Black Writers' Guild (Denise Cuffie, Gilbert Richards, and Odessa Rose), poets/book lovers (Brenda Bunting and Diane Wilbon Parks), and some new readers including folks from the library.
4. Be flexible and prepare for anything. I was packed and allowed myself enough time but things still went a little awry. For starters, it was a raining, traffic was a mess and my GPS decided to go haywire on me. I had to pull over at least twice, reboot my phone, call the PR assistant (who was awesome) to guide me in. When I finally parked and got settled in, the library manager informed me that the location may not be a safe place to park. At that precise moment, I saw a police officer approaching my car and I had to run out and talk myself out of a ticket – whew! That was really close. The bottom line is that you simply have to be flexible and make adjustments because the show must go on.
5. Get Photos/Video Clips. Your live book reading should be available for anyone to see. So take lots of photos and videos to share to prove the event did happen.
Overall, I had a great time. I sold some books, made a few new friends and garnered some new
Here are some photos and links you can check out from the event. Enjoy!