“Be awesome! Be a book nut!” — Dr. Seuss
While touring around southwestern Ontario, Canada to promote my upcoming mystery novel Beyond Blood, I ran into opposite takes on how the author should present his or her new novel in person to readers.
A bookstore owner who wants me (and a few other Crime Writers of Canada authors) to read in his bookstore this fall or early spring said authors need to do more than just read. People no longer want to sit through an author only reading from her published book. I agreed and said my publisher had told me – not more than 10 minutes of reading or the audience starts fidgeting. I explained that what crime fiction and non-fiction authors have been doing is interviews – either myself or Nate, the CWC Ontario Regional Director who organizes these readings (some with my help), interviews the other authors presenting and we get one of them to interview us. Interviewing yourself is not cool or hot or even lukewarm.
I added that some of us are or were journalists so there is the contrast there and how we switched to writing about crime – fiction or fact. And we open it to the audience for a Q and A. He was enthusiastic about that.
Then, one of my readers told me she would rather have the author read from his or her book rather than talk about it or about their writing.
Hm. This is maybe less work for the author. But I still think anything that will get the author to interact with her audience and provide some insight on where her characters come from, adds to the interest. That is what has been my experience in the Q and A – even when we do reveal something about our writing and our characters.
Maybe the latter also whets the reader’s appetite.
So, the answer may be to blend in the reading with the back story and a Q and A.
And sell some books, of course.
Sharon A. Crawford
You can read about my characters and their stories in my short story collection Beyond the Tripping Point (Blue Denim Press, 2012). Click on the book at the top and it takes you to Sharon A. Crawford’s profile – including book reviews – at http://www.amazon.com.
More info on Sharon A.’s upcoming gigs, workshops, guest blog posts, etc. at http://www.samcraw.com/Articles/BeyondtheTrippingPoint.html And keep checking http://samcraw.com/Articles/BeyondBlood.html for the latest news on the release of my first mystery novel Beyond Blood, also published by Blue Denim Press http://www.bluedenimpress.com More info on the Beyond Blood page as we get closer to the date. And remember that clicking on the book icon at the top gets you to my Amazon profile.