5 Tips for Author Visits

Updated: Oct 13, 2021

So you’ve published your book, marketed successfully, and BAM right there in your inbox is a request to come and do an author visit. Instantly your palms become sweaty, you’re having palpitations…did it just get warmer in here?

You start asking yourself all the wrong questions: How did they find me? How can I say no? All because you have that fear of public speaking.

Trust me, I get it.

The first time I ever stood in front of the room with 20 pairs of beady eyes looking at me, hanging on my every word, I panicked too! But I’m here to say, you can do this. You just need to remember these 5 things:

Tip 1- Do NOT “pretend everyone’s in their underwear.” Please don’t do it. Seriously, it’s weird. No. The true tip is to mentally divide the room into three visual “slices”and find three inanimate objects in each: in the middle of the classroom, to the right of the classroom and to the left of the classroom. Make sure all three of these objects need to be in the MIDDLE of the kids in each section or ”slice.” Choose a desk, pencil, paper, piece of snack that somehow made its way to the floor...anything inanimate. And this way as you’re “scanning” the room reading, you don’t need to make eye contact BUT you give the impression that you are.

Tip 2- Visualize your hand held in front of your mouth. Not COVERING your mouth but in a high five position about a good 5 inches from your face. Why? Because it’s a barrier. Push your voice level to be able to project around that imaginary barricade. You’ll end up with the perfect volume level every time.

Tip 3- Read your book at least 5 times before the visit. Practice. Makes. Permanent. Whatever you do, do NOT read monotone or you just sound like Charlie Brown’s teacher. (Wah wah woh wah wah…) You need to give it emphasis. For different characters, change the way your voice sounds. Emphasize questions and statements. Rise and drop your voice. Make it interesting!

Tip 4- Switch the perspective. Get back to their level. If you’re reading to 7 year olds, you get to be 7 again. Think about what YOU enjoyed at that age. What bored you? Let those thoughts guide and inspire you.

But the final tip—and the most important—is to have fun. You’re about to be in a room where those children filling the seats think you’re someone absolutely incredible, and who knows! You might inspire a new generation of authors all because you replied to that email “I’d love to.”

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