How To Give A Good Library Talk

libraryJust before Easter I finally finished my Perth Book Tour for “The Girl in The Hard Hat.” It was great. One of my favourite things to do is meeting readers and hearing their take on my story. It’s always interesting to find out which bits they related to. Every reader is different.

On my travels I did many library talks. At one of them I picked up a pamphlet for an international bestselling author who was talking in the same library a couple of weeks after me. Her name is Katie Fforde. She’s a lovely, lovely British writer with eighteen romantic comedies under her belt.  I’ve read a couple. They’re excellent.

So I decided maybe I’ll go along and listen to her talk. I’m just starting out and this is only my second book tour so I thought it might be interesting to hear what someone with that much experience has to say.

I loved her presentation. It was funny and warm. She started off by saying that she wasn’t going to talk about how she got accepted for publication because talking about the submission process was just boring.  Where upon I covered my mouth because this is exactly what I do! And you know what, I’ve always wondered, do people actually find this interesting? Am I boring them? What should I talk about, if not that?

Well, Katie was very laid back. She basically talked about her life as a writer in a very conversational fashion. Just as though we were all sitting down for a cup of old English tea and swapping anecdotes.  Her talk was more like that of a stand up comedian- a few funny stories and some interesting opinions.  It was very enjoyable. I definitely think I’ll take a leaf out of her book for future presentations.  I guess, you learn something new everyday.

I was talking to the librarian who organizes these talks and she was telling me they usually have about twelve authors a year of all different genre varieties giving presentations. The biggest name she’s ever had was Jodi Picoult, most well known for “My Sisters Keeper.”

Apparently, four hundred people turned up to hear her presentation. They had to move it to a local school gymnasium. Wow! I think I’d wet my pants if that many people turned up to hear me speak.

They never tell you as a writer that after you get published there’s a whole host of others skills you need to develop – mostly in the fields of marketing and PR.  I’m currently writing my fifth book and I’m still not across it all. I guess I have to rely on experiences like this to help shape my own knowledge and confidence.

Happy Writing!


12 thoughts on “How To Give A Good Library Talk

  1. I love going along and hearing other authors talk too Loretta. Hard to get to many when I live outside of Perth but I’ve heard Fiona Palmer and Monica McInerney talk lately and they were both fascinating. I too always talk about how I came to publication, but I’m starting to get a few of the same people at my talks so conscious about doing something different! Food for thought indeed.

    • Yeah I think so. In question time they always ask about the road to publication so I guess it mustn’t be completely uninteresting… I guess you just need to mix it up a bit. Thanks Rach.

  2. I’m at tha stage now too Loretta. Very timely and thought provoking post indeed. Thx for sharing.

  3. I think a lot of people do want to know about the publication process – but I also think that should be a small part of the talk. We want to know about the person behind the book!

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