When Patricia Fry, executive director of the Small Publishers, Artists, and Writers Network (SPAWN), asked me to provide input to her newest book, I was happy to oblige. It’s on a topic I think is important for authors –using public speaking for book promotion.
While Talk Up Your Book: How to Sell Your Book Through Public Speaking, Interviews, Signings, Festivals, Conferences, and More draws primarily on Fry’s experiences as an author, it includes interviews with me and many other authors who talk about their books in an effort to reach key audience with their messages.
It’s a comprehensive manual useful for any author who wants to use public speaking to boost awareness, but isn’t sure where to begin. In my experience, many authors struggle with figuring out where they might speak, how to generate invitations to speak, and then what to say when they are invited. This book helps with all of that — and more.
I think some of the most valuable information is in the first few chapters, when Fry explains how to get started (we all agree that it’s smart to start locally), where to look for speaking opportunities, and, most importantly, how to pursue those opportunities. She includes a sample speaking engagement “pitch” letter from a novelist looking to do presentations that can serve as an excellent template for just about any author.
Learn how to get results at book festivals
One of my favorite sections addresses how to prepare for book festivals. As anyone who has done before this knows, there’s a real good chance that you’ll arrive at the event without something important, whether it’s a receipt pad or your favorite book signing pen. Fry makes sure that doesn’t happen by explaining what to expect, how to handle yourself, and what to bring for a successful event.
The book is organized so that you can find just the content you need — whether it’s figuring out what you want to say or learning how to get on the platform at a conference — without reading the whole book if you don’t have time for that.
If you want to know more about what’s involved with talking publicly about your book, whether it’s at a bookstore, the local Kiwanis club’s monthly meeting, or a conference or tradeshow, read this book. Fry is thoughtful and thorough as she walks you through the process of learning how to do it and understanding what to expect.
Author Patricia Fry offers a great deal of advice for authors who want to speak in Talk Up Your Book. What advice would you offer authors who want to talk about their book’s topic in public?
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