What did I learn from this experience?
- Be your true self in front of an audience. People will recognize ingenuous author behavior. And if you're a little nervous they will understand.
- Talk about what the readers want to hear. Ask them.
- "Listen" to questions and answer the best you can. If you don't know, be honest.
- Dare to be human and laugh at your own mistakes or foibles. We all have them, you know.
- Smile. People will smile back and feel special.
- Laugh when things are funny, but never at someone else's expense.
- Make eye contact with various audience members all around the room. Again, this makes the audience members feel special.
- Ask questions of the readers, too. What was your favorite part? Who was your favorite character? etc.
- Relax. Reminise. Be relatable.
- Share a little bit of yourself. The names of authors you enjoy, your favorite books growing up.
- Be entertaining. If the audience enjoys your stories and discussion they will no doubt enjoy your book.
- Network. There are other authors, book buyers and sellers in the audience. They are readers, too. Be enthusiastic and enjoy yourself.
Write on, my friends.
Bonnie (BD) Tharp is an award-winning author of women's fiction for FEISTY FAMILY VALUES and PATCHWORK FAMILY. Also, the author of Kindle ebook short stories: THE CROSSROADS & EARL DIVINE.
I have a new Young Adult manuscript ready for an agent or publisher, whichever comes first. Wish me luck!