Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Book Readings: Act Well Your Part

Whether you are reading to a large audience or simply to a few fellow readers, there are some worthwhile tips in making a good show. I recently participated in an author event at Bookfellows/Mystery and Imagination in Glendale, California where I read from my novel, The Dark Before Dawn.  I had my checklist in hand: books (got to bring those), camera (must record the event for posterity and websites), video camera (for posterity and possible audio blurbs); friend to man the camera or fellow reader who will do you a favor, business cards (you never know who you're gonna meet); Trade review sheets (again, you never know who you're gonna meet); and a giveaway.  Giveaways are fun and people like them. There are various websites such as iprint.com that will create for you custom bookmarks or personalized post-it notes.  These “gimmicks” are easy to carry and promote you and your title. People may not buy your book, but they’ll take the freebie and it will remind them of you later on.  The other thing you should bring with you to a book reading is some acting talent.  You don’t want your audience to equate your reading with something as tedious as watching paint dry. So for goodness sake, don’t just read. You know your characters well.  Try to breathe some life into their dialogue. Remember the passion you felt for the story when you were writing it and share that enthusiasm by “getting into character.” Now, too much passion or dramatic flair is, in my opinion, ridiculous. You want them to focus on the story, not you.  Good vocal skills, however, are always going to be a plus. So put some bang in your book reading and let your inner actor shine.