For any writer preparing to give a reading: I recommend this post on The one thing every author surveyed does (with one exception) is practice, practice, practice. 

When I first became a published author, I panicked at the thought of public readings. The book Never be Nervous Again by Dorothy Sarnoff helped me a lot. 

From Sarnoff, I learned to:

  • print out in big bold font every word of my talk, giving each sentence a line;
  • dog-ear the pages so that the turn easily; 
  • learn to look up and scan the room; 
  • practice in front of a mirror;
  • practice three times the day of the event. 

I chose short readings and talk a lot about writing and research before, during and after. Every sentence is composed and practiced beforehand. What I’ve learned is that to appear off-hand and relaxed, you have to practice. 

I print out the text of my book, as well. I will show the actual book, but I won’t read from it. I’ll revise the text, as well, so that it reads well. 

I’m curious: what do you do? How do you prepare for a public “performance”? 

[You can see some of my talks on YouTube: here. Some are an example of what not to do. It took time for me to evolve my process.]

On the home front, I’m intensely into editing/revising the 5th draft of The Next Novel. (Presently titled The Art of Enchantment: what do you think?) 

In preparation for my next newsletter, I put together a website page on my Sandra Gulland Ink ebook publication project. 

What do you think of the covers? (To see all of them, click here.)