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Book Readings

Discussion in 'Marketing' started by wordwalker, Feb 3, 2013.

  1. wordwalker

    wordwalker Auror

    I'm giving a book reading at a convention this month, and I wonder if anyone has any thoughts.

    Some things I've heard are:

    • pick a section that's about character -- other advice says, something funny
    • don't try to take it past 30 minutes, even if there's plenty of water
  2. Sparkie

    Sparkie Auror

    I'd say the 30 minute rule is a good one, although sometimes even that's too long. As for content, I suppose what you choose to read should depend on what sort of reader you are. If you're naturally dynamic in front of a crowd, it doesn't matter so much what part of a story you read. If you're a more subdued reader, you may want to stick to something funny (seems strange, yes, but I know two different guys who've done the 'deadpan humor' thing with their reading.)

    Good luck at the convention!
    wordwalker likes this.
  3. TWErvin2

    TWErvin2 Auror

    Thirty minutes of reading may be too long, even if the story is engaging. Save some time for questions or comments. There is a lot going on at conventions and people might flow in and out of the reading room. Be prepared for a large or even a very small audience.

    Pick a section that you're comfortable reading, one where listeners can easily pick up on and follow the story...where they can anticiapte what might happen and see if they're correct.
    wordwalker likes this.
  4. Devor

    Devor Fiery Keeper of the Hat Moderator

    Rehearse. You're now a public speaker, so get good at it.

    Depending on what you're reading and how comfortable you are, there's a few things to work on.

    If you're terrified: Smile. Keep your feet firmly in one spot, keep your hands mostly still where the book won't block your face, pause instead of go ummm, speak up as loud as you can without yelling, stick to the content you went through in rehearsals, try not to get in it too much with the audience before the Q&A at the end. Make sure you stick to the times you allot for reading and for Q&A, even if you have to cut yourself off (phone alarm, vibrate, back pocket, if it's that bad). Open with ice breakers - doesn't have to be a joke, but just say something casual and likeable and gracious to break the tension. Show some personality, and let that break your nerves.

    If you're just a little nervous: Focus on telling your story verbally, and on addressing the audience when appropriate. When do you need to speak quickly or slowly to tell your story? When do you pause for effect? When are the best places to stop reading, look at your audience, and tell them what they need to know from the excerpt? Work on the verbal queues, which people will most respond to, and just keep your body and your hands from getting in the way.

    You're comfortable: Invite your audience to participate a lot, work off script, gesture and walk as comes natural with the words, why do you need my advice?

    Notice, I didn't mention eye contact. Eye contact is important, but in my experience, you can make yourself more nervous worrying about eye contact. Audiences will also be a little forgiving of it because you're a writer, more than a public speaker. Rehearse, and work on everything else, and the eye contact should come naturally.
    wordwalker likes this.
  5. CupofJoe

    CupofJoe Myth Weaver

    I work with someone who gives public readings and they know the pieces they use almost off by heart.
    They don't so much "read" the book as use it as notes.
    They have sections laid out and printed to suit their breathing and the dramatic needs.
    Also their excepts seem to be about 5 minutes long but they have at least 4 different scenes and link them with unscripted exposition. They end up doing their whole book that way.
    Perhaps its just them but they like rehearsing with a small audience [I have spent an hour or two as an audience of one or two for them...].
    Good luck with the speaking wordwalker
    wordwalker likes this.

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