If you’re a self-published book author, book readings can offer you an amazing opportunity to interact with your readers and reach out to more people. However, it is important to put some thought into staging and promoting the event if you want to get the best out of it. Here are 5 tips to help make your first public book reading a successful one.

Book Reading Tip 1: Take the plunge.

For many writers, especially if they’re not very outgoing, public readings are something to be dreaded, more of a challenge than the actual writing. Even if you share this view, it’s worth taking the plunge. Beyond the obvious benefit of promoting your work, a public book reading with your readers is a good opportunity to get a fresh perspective on your work and ponder new courses you might wish to explore.

Book Reading Tip 2: Spread the word.

Unless you have your very own PR department, or you’re already on the New York Times’ best seller list, it’s important to promote the event on all possible channels. Post it on your Facebook page, boosting the post so that more people will see it. Be sure to include all the important details. Tweet, blog, and email about the event, and be sure to use the good old “word of mouth” technique in publicizing your public book reading. Mind you, even then you might end up reading to your mom, two aunts, and a gathering of close friends, but at least you’ll know you tried.

Book Reading Tip 3: Do your homework.

Even you don’t expect too many people to show up, when you’re looking at how to host a book reading, be sure to prepare your reading in as thorough and professional a manner as you can. It might help to do some prior research on the usual proceedings and rehearse your reading on camera or with a trusted friend. In this way, you will be sure to deliver a smooth and engaging reading, without getting choked up or crippled by stage fright.

Book Reading Tip 4: Expect the unexpected.

It’s a fact universally acknowledged that, however thoroughly you prepare for an event, there will be tiny hitches you couldn’t have foreseen. So don’t panic if things don’t go exactly as planned and be ready to improvise. Going with the flow is part of how to host a book reading!

Book Reading Tip 5: Document it.

If you want to get the best out of your public book reading, be sure to document it. In our social media-obsessed age, someone will most likely be live tweeting about your reading whether you want it or not. However, just in case, ask a friend to take a video of you in action and post it across your social media accounts. Writing a blog post after the reading is also a good way to record the event.

Check out this article for more tips on hosting a book reading.

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