Author gigs are an investment

Last night at a local business ladies evening, which I was attending as Kate Allan, director of Red Wave Communications, I met a lady who said to me straight off, “Oh, I know you! You write books! Yes, you gave that talk at the Town Hall.” I did, and it was about a year ago, and I had to confess that I was also, Kate Allan, author, and I told the group a little about my novels.

Also yesterday I was speaking to a director of a literature festival. “The problem authors don’t realise is,” he said, “that unless you’re a brand name author, you’re not going to pack a theatre out. But then, when we put them in the library and 20 people turn up – the authors complain, saying, you put me in the library and therefore only 20 people came along. But had we scheduled them in the theatre, they’d still have only got an audience of 20.”

My point is: yes, you’ve devoted a day of your life (with travel) to that event where *only* 20 people showed up, sure, but in the music industry, small-venue gigs are a recognised route which work successfully for many bands to garner a fan base. The fact is that many readers enjoy meeting authors, and having an audience of 20 allows that event to be intimate.

You should be thinking of events as investments, investments which can pay dividends.

Dividend 1 – there is an opportunity to earn money from appearances

Dividend 2 – you’ll sell some books there and then

Dividend 3 – some from the audience will see your book later or look it up later and buy it

Dividend 4 – some will actually read your book, like it and perhaps tell friends

Dividend 5 – years later some will still remember the event

Dividend 6 – years later some will be looking out for your next book, and will buy it

Dividend 7 – some may recommend you to another speaking opportunity

Part of getting your book out there, is you, the author, getting out and talking to people face to face about it. Formally and informally. Nearly all authors I work with tell me that they feel shy/ nervous/ uncomfortable/ scared of giving talks and readings. This is normal. I’ll post some tips on overcoming nervousness, and also on public speaking and how to get your author gigs in the first place.



Filed under author events, books, events, public speaking, talks and readings

2 responses to “Author gigs are an investment

  1. Looking forward to the tips because I have my first TV appearance next month – it’s a community station, and I’m supposed to talk about publishing (rather than plugging my books) so we’ll see how that goes.

    It should be fun, although my experience is limited to operating cameras rather than sitting in front of them. At least it’s not live!

  2. I’m also looking forward to advice on public speaking. I’m on the point of joining a public speaking group, and have checked out a couple already.
    I believe, like most things in life, if you want to do it well, you’ve got to make the effort to learn to do it properly.
    Unless of course you are a natural – but it seems not many writers fall into that category!

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