People want to learn more about you and your book, your background and inspiration, so the reading portion should be 15 min max.Don’t rush and don’t use jargon or pretentious language. Look up, pause, perhaps throw in an aside, connect, connect, connect.Make sure that your books are clearly visible to attendees.Ideally they should be placed facing the audience so when you read, your books are right there, beckoning to be bought.The rest of your presentation should be Q&A style to invite conversation which is why you should have another friend be the designated instigator to pose questions to you, so that the audience knows it’s ok to raise their hands and do the same. That means a pen that doesn’t smear or bleed through the pages.Conclude with the giveaway of books to 2-3 people who signed up for your mailing list. Practice your signature and think about what kinds of things you want to write beforehand, so that you don’t freeze up when people suddenly line up all around the bookstore to get your signature.
After your first outreach to media, continue to follow up 2-3 times, particularly the days before the event.Also, if there are a lot of people, keep the line moving.If your friend’s aunt monopolizes your attention for 20 minutes, kindly tell her that you can’t wait to chat with her later, but that there are other people waiting.Outreach to local interest groups (book clubs, meet-ups, literary organizations, etc.) follows the same guidelines.Social media promotion should start about two weeks out and ramp us as you get closer to the date.