In the book industry, a reading is a traditional promotion tool. It’s not easy to organize a reading though – so you’d better follow our advice to learn how to do it right!
Address Your Target Group
Look for adequate locations in your surroundings. You can also find cooperation partners or bring people in who can help you organize your reading. Get inspired by other authors, go to readings and think about what you like and what you can give up on. During your reasoning though, always keep your target group at the back of your mind. You are the author – no one else knows your book and your readers better than you do. If you have written a children’s book, your reading should take place in a kindergarten or in a local library. Your book is about a controversial or a current topic? Then, a panel discussion or an interview with an expert are best suited for you.
The Right Cooperation Partner
Choose a cooperation partner that suits your book and the theme of your event. A part of your book takes place in an exotic jungle? Then, a botanic garden would be the perfect location. Your romance novel takes place in an idyllic vineyard? Well, a wine store including tasting would be a good idea. Let your imagination run wild! A bookstore is a classic cooperation partner for a reading. Since readings often take place in bookstores, a bookseller has the expertise and can provide expert advice on how to organize your reading. What would be the ideal solution for you – an inner ward? A spaceship? Your own garden plot? Afterwards, concentrate on how to convert your idea into a reality. You cannot fly into space with all your readers! Maybe there is a museum or a planetarium in your surroundings devoted to the subject of your book. Pay also attention to external hazards – a noisy construction site or an open-air event in November are not the best conditions for a reading.
The goal of your reading is to reach new readers – therefore you should not cut back on advertising. Print leaflets and posters, and ask shop owners who your target audience often visit to display your leaflets at the tills or checkouts. Create your Facebook event and invite people. Add your event to local calendar programs. Talk with representatives of the press at local newspapers; invite them to your event so they can report on your book.
During your reading, it’s not all about you or your book. Think about what parts of your books you should read aloud – they must be short but incisive. Practice to read aloud, to emphasize texts properly, as well as to pay attention to facial expressions and gesture. It can be of help to read aloud in front of your friends or family – they might notice something that went unnoticed. Record yourself when you read aloud and listen to the recording. In this way, you can refine fragments that are important to you. Not every visitor will buy your book immediately; this is why it is important to be remembered. Small presents such as bookmarks or postcards can be a good example. Free readings are also good. A short question session at the end of a reading conveys a sense of exclusivity and closeness to the group of listeners. Also, it gives you the chance to get to know your target group better and to be better responsive to the wishes of your readers. Although your answer should sound natural and spontaneous, thinking about what kind of questions can be asked and how you can answer, can help you feel less nervous.