Part of self-publishing your book is getting out into the community and letting people know about it.
You may be invited to conduct a book signing at your local book store or chamber meeting; however, you might be asked to give a presentation at your library. In that case, you need to plan what you will say.
Library directors seek out presenters that can share a message that will draw people into their building. Therefore, a talk that is just about your book will probably only attract your family and close friends. However, a presentation on the process of writing a book might be a topic that a wider audience would be interested in.
People enjoy listening to writers talk about where they get their inspiration. You wouldn’t be speaking as an English instructor but as a fellow writer; sharing your own personal experience.
Start With an Outline
Unless you are very nervous and prefer to have your entire speech written word-for-word, an outline should be enough to guide you through a 45-minute presentation, leaving 15 minutes for questions.
Write out your opening and your closing sentences and practice them out loud until you have them memorized. Knowing in advance exactly how you will open your speech will help reduce nerves. Once you get into your topic your own experience and personality will shine through and capture the attention of your audience.
“During the first few minutes of your presentation, your job is to assure the audience members that you are not going to waste their time and attention.”
― Dale Ludwig and Greg Owen-Boger
You want to memorize your ending so that you leave a strong final impression. People remember the last thing they hear. Make sure it is compelling and memorable.
The body of your presentation should incorporate your own personal antidotes about:
- How to write a book
- Where you get ideas
- What your writing process is
- Dialogue versus description
- Outline or no outline
- Did you know the ending before you started?
- What worked and what didn’t
- The editing process
Unless you feel a strong need to have something on the screen, your words and stories will be enough to capture the attention of your audience. The use of Power Point is over-rated and can be more of a distraction than a welcome addition to your presentation.
End with a Call to Action
Part of your final comments should include the option to purchase your book, visit your website, sign up for your newsletter or follow you on social media.
Consider passing around a sign-up sheet at the beginning of your presentation so that people can share their name and email address. Follow up with a thank you message and a link to buy your book.
If you already have received copies of your book, make sure that you bring several and offer to stay after your talk and personally autograph each book.
“A good speech should be like a woman’s skirt; long enough to cover the subject and short enough to create interest.” ― Winston S. Churchill
Bottom Line: Creating a presentation about your writing process is a wonderful way to make a name for yourself within your community and at the same time, promote your latest book.
Make sure you check out the article about Hosting a Book Release Event.