I had the HUGE pleasure of going to hear my friend Fiona Palmer speak at Ballajura Library (in WA) last Wednesday night. She drew a fabulous crowd and was an absolute delight to listen to.
(Fiona Palmer (looking MUCH more glamorous than me) on the left and me on the right)
One of the reasons (aside from catching up, which we rarely get to do) was to see how one author handles a library talk. I’ve already been asked to go to two libraries and speak, which is kind of hard to believe for me. I can’t believe people might actually want to hear me rabbit on about my books. So I decided, that this was a good excuse to see Fiona and do a little research on the promotional and business side of writing.
Fiona spoke about how she started writing – her schooling background, life experiences, etc and how they led her to write the book that had been buzzing about in her head for years. She spoke freely and honestly about how she’s grown as a writer over the last seven years and then took questions from the audience about reading, writing and the business side of publishing. She handled all this fabulously and I now feel a lot more confident about getting up and doing a similar talk myself. Fiona also gave each attendee a bookmark and was available to sign books at chat at the end of the session.
I’ve asked a couple of other writer friends how they handle such talks and here’s a couple of other things that some authors do:
* Read from their current release
* Offer a prize for one attendee
*Leave swag (booksmarks and other promo things) on each seat – sometimes cross-promotional offering friends’ promo items (eg. bookmarks) as well
I’d love to hear from both readers and other authors about their experiences with author talks and what they like to do/get out of such an event.
Readers – what would you like authors to offer if you went to hear them talk?
Authors – what do you do when you speak at a library or other community event?