Monday, 17 June 2013

Some tips for live literary readings, or how not to be a prima donna:

A colleague of mine recently asked for some tips to give to writers before a live reading. This is what I came up with.

- Show up early, not late. 

- Ask the host how long she/he wants you to read.

- Be flexible. If there is more than one reader, don't demand to go first or last. Let your host curate the evening as she/he sees fit.

- Don't read longer than the time your host has requested/suggested (remember: leave the audience wanting more!).

- Be gracious. Remember to thank your audience/host/fellow readers/venue during your reading.

- If other authors are reading on the same bill, it is polite to stay for their readings, as well.

- Plug your book. It's okay to do this yourself if the host doesn't. It's why you're there (and your publisher will appreciate it). Mention the price.

- If selling your own book, decide on a book price for live readings. As an incentive, it can be a little lower than the list price, but don't shortchange yourself too much!


What would you add? 

4 comments:

Martin Wallace said...

Makes me livid when I see a writer, whether established or new, ditch all but his or her parts of the reading. Seen it more than once.

Larissa said...

Limit preambles and explanations, let your work speak for itself.

Amanda Earl said...

rehearse & decide on what you want to read ahead of time. i find it boring & frustrating when a reader flips slowly thru the pages & fumbles around while trying to decide what to read.

John W. MacDonald said...

I would also suggest that the poet or writer mingle with the crowd (before & after) and not just sit at one table or his or her peers or family members) i.e. be sociable.