Tip of the Week 10/22/09

I completely forgot to post this yesterday. It seems to be true that after pregnancy your brain is never the same again. Sigh. But in keeping with this week's party theme, here's the Tip:

Tip of the Week: Practice reading your book excerpt aloud.

Although not a mandatory part of release parties, many authors choose to read a passage from their book. This is a wonderful way to expose people to your book. However, if you read in a flat monotone, your book, no matter how exciting, is going to sound flat. I have worked in the kid section through to many boring adult events where the author spoke as if his/her voice had no inflection. They could be reading about the funniest or the most tragic thing, and it all sounded the same. This is not going to encourage the random book customer who stumbles upon your event to buy your book.

I once read (I don't remember where - if anyone knows let us know in the comments) that authors should consider taking acting classes. I don't know if I'd go quite that far, but definitely practice. And if you can practice in front of kids, even better. If nothing else, you'll learn if your excerpt is too long if it can't hold the child's attention.


PJ Hoover said...

Should I be paranoid you are talking about me? :)

The Buried Editor said...

Never. I would never be talking about one of MY authors. They all practice.

stacy said...

Sherman Alexie is a good one to use as an example. Going to his events is like going to see a stand-up comedian. The guy is hilarious, and you can't help but want to read his books after hearing him speak. I think acting classes might definitely be a plus for authors who are a bit shy--help them get used to being in front of an audience. Especially as the market gets tighter, the more authors can entertain their audiences in person, the better.

The Buried Editor said...

And Mo Willems is crazy hilarious. Actually, there are quite a number of authors I've met that have made me want to read their books when I didn't before.