If you’re an author Open Mics are a great way to build your reading reputation and your platform. Don’t forget to bring your signup list and your books and business cards so you can build your audience. I’ve hosted an Open Mic reading series for a long and have recently joined forces with the Main Street Rag Raleigh Reading Series which hosts a monthly open mic and a featured author at So & So Books in downtown Raleigh the third Wednesday of every month.
Here are several of my tips to have an awesome reading so folks will remember you in a good way:
You never want to overstay your welcome when you read. Read within your time and don’t go over so that your audience will want more from you and will buy your book. With that said your whole reading should be about a half hour with 15 to 20 minutes. Read something that’s appropriate to your audience and that is self-contained and doesn’t need a whole lot of set-up. Make sure you connect right away to your audience with a local current event, an anecdote or a joke. Try to look like you’re having some fun up there! And whatever you do, don’t give away the ending of your book.
Practice beforehand and tab your pages so you’re not thumbing through your book. Give yourself enough pauses as you speak and use a lot of vocal variety (go loud and soft at the appropriate moments).
Prepare an intro in 14-point font (it’s easiest on the eyes) and email it to the correct person so your host can properly announce you to your audience. Be sure to have the point of view in third person and limit it to 200 words.
Wear comfortable, yet spiffy clothing that’s not too tight (you don’t want your buttons popping when you sit down and skin showing for photographs). Also make sure your shoes are comfortable.
During the signing make sure you have your clipboard handy with your sign-in list. Be sure to spell everyone’s name right as you sign and try to put in a personal message rather than just signing your name and the date.
Be sure to exchange business cards with your hosts so you can thank them after the event and keep them in touch with you. Perhaps for your next book signing/reading, you’ll have an even bigger crowd!
My next Open Mic will be
Location: So & So Books, 704 N Person St. Raleigh, NC 27604
Wednesday, November 19, 2014 from 7:30-9:30 p.m. (Social Hour is at The Station at Person Street from 6:30 p.m. till 7:15 p.m.)
Open to the Public and ALL WRITING GENRES WELCOME
Bring poems, stories, or essays to read to this Third Wednesday monthly event. Twelve people will read for 5 minutes, any literary genre welcome. Our featured reader is Bruce Lader of Raleigh, NC, who will share his latest collection, Fugitive Hope. If you’d like to read at the Open Mic, join us at The Station at Person Street (701 N Person St, across the street from So & So) between 6:30 p.m. to 7:15 p.m. for our social hour to put your name on the list. This event is co-sponsored by Main Street Rag Publishing Company and is hosted by Beth Browne, Jane K. Andrews and Alice Osborn.