Why Readings Matter to Indie Authors

The May program for LERA is all about learning how to give great readings. In my experience, readings are something traditionally published authors do at brick and mortar bookstores, but I’m unpublished. When I do publish it will be independently, with e-books. Why would I want to attend this program? It couldn’t possibly matter to me.

But I remembered a LERA PAN member saying she always gets something out of every program. If this successful author believes all the programs are valuable, maybe I was looking at this the wrong way. I decided to see if I could prove myself wrong and find out why learning to do readings does matter to me.

The first place I searched was RWA.org. which is LERA’s parent organization. I found a Two-Minute Tip video by Suleikah Snyder on this topic (https://youtu.be/sBQ1dQkextk). She points out that a reading is a live commercial for your book. It needs to be exciting and require minimal setup for the listener to understand what’s happening. And most importantly, it should have a good hook. That made sense, but how do I know which scene in my book is the one that fits this description?

Next, I reviewed my 2018 RWA Conference recordings. There was one on “Promotion for Debut Authors”, and I fit that description—or I will soon. One takeaway from the session was that you need a newsletter with content, perhaps an excerpt. There’s that word again. Excerpt. I was starting to see a pattern. Wouldn’t it be cool to have a newsletter with a link to a recording of the author reading the excerpt? It would be like a bookstore reading, but without the driving and the people. This might appeal to readers.

It was clear to me the romance community was into excepts, but what do authors in other genres think about readings? I found an article offering five tips on readings at Writer’s Digest. Com (https://tinyurl.com/yymyjuua). It mentioned things like being professional and to practice. Good advice but nothing I didn’t already know.

So, I looked up book marketing and ran right back into my beloved romance authors. An article on BookBub.com 10 Top Book Marketing Takeaways from RWA 2018 https://insights.bookbub.com/book-marketing-takeaways-rwa-2018/. They mentioned as part of a promotion plan to do a FaceBook Live session where you read an excerpt from your book. I’m pretty sure if I did that, I’d be banned from FaceBook for life. My books are steamy. However, it might be possible to get a spot on a podcast that promotes erotic romance. Or, I could post a recorded excerpt on my website for a limited time and tweet about it. Or I could… Wait. I need to learn how to select an excerpt and give a reading before I could put the million ideas that ran through my head into action. Guess I’ll see you at the May meeting!

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