This month we’ve been exploring the topic of preparing for and giving a book reading to help boost your marketing, your self-confidence, and to expand your comfort zone. The best way to gain a standing in your fans (and potential fans minds) is to see and hear you stand before them and share your story with them. Once you’ve given a passionate reading of your story before an audience, your readers will see the passion inside you that drove you to write the story in the first place, creating a connection that readers don’t often get to have with authors of their favorite books.

book reading
Lauren Weisberger reads at Books & Books (FL), July 19

If you think about it, as readers, we often get so consumed by the story and the characters that the author never comes to mind. I personally think that well-written pieces should have that effect on readers, one where the reader feels as though they’re inside the story and can’t hear the author’s, but only the character’s voices. However, once I’ve already fallen in love with a story, I find myself looking into these authors to find out more about them. I want to know how they knew so much about the history of jazz music in New Orleans, or about the intricacies of youth tennis academies, the mechanics of telephone switchboards, or the cobblestone streets of European cities. It gets to the point where I would give anything to sit down and pick the author’s brain to see if any of the characters in their stories were autobiographical, or if they grew up in the city the story took place in, etc. etc.

Just think of people who haven’t randomly stumbled upon your story, haven’t had the chance to have already been consumed by it, and don’t know anything about you. A book reading is your chance to convince those readers that they must have this book, that they must read it, and that they must also tell their fellow bibliophiles all about it.

While performing a reading with the kind of passion that can captivate an audience may terrify some more asocial writers, know that you’re not alone. I often dread social obligations and parties, choosing to shadow a more extroverted, socially affluent friend – however, that’s often because those gatherings are focused on small talk and catching up that I find generally uncomfortable and forced. The opportunity to speak, uninterrupted about something you love seems less intimidating for just that reason – I don’t have to force anything, it’s something I naturally love speaking about. A book reading allows me to prepare what to say in advanced in a way that doesn’t seem contrived, but is just a given part of the expected performance. When I am forced to interact with my audience, it is on the level of answering questions about something that I am deeply passionate about, which is my writing. For these reasons, while preparing for a putting on a book reading may bring about feelings of anxiety and general unease, know that the sense of satisfaction you’ll receive from having the opportunity to give your story a voice, and to gain readers who will stick with you for life will make it all worth it.

Thank you for reading!  If you have any questions, comments, suggestions, or contributions, please use the comment field below or drop us a line  And remember to check back each Wednesday for your weekly dose of marketing musings from one indie, hybrid, and self-published author to another. ♠

KellyABOUT KELLY SCHUKNECHT: Kelly Schuknecht is the Executive Vice President of Outskirts Press. In addition to her contributions to the Outskirts Press blog at, Kelly and a group of talented marketing experts offer book marketing services, support, and products to not only published Outskirts Press authors, but to all authors and professionals who are interested in marketing their books and/or careers. Learn more about Kelly on her blog, 10:00 AM

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