Learning How to Conduct an Excellent Author Event

The best way to learn how to conduct an excellent author event is to attend one. 

This way, you may avoid making the mistakes some authors make when in front of an audience.

I’ve had the opportunities to watch many authors do book readings. Here are a few examples.  The better the author presents him or herself to an audience, the more book sales there are afterwards and the more fans the author gains.

The first Author event I’ve posted here is from Amy Tan and it runs about 28 minutes.  If you watch only one, I recommend watching hers.

If you watch at least two, make sure to see Anchee Min at the National Book Festival.  Anchee often gets standing ovations when she is done and her books sell out.

Every author has his or her style. Learn from the masters.

A Reading by Amy Tan

Anchee Min at the 2010 National Book Festival

Pat Mora at the 2010 National Book Festival

Norton Juster and Jules Feiffer at the 2010 National Book Festival

Jane Smiley at the 2010 National Book Festival

Isabel Allende at the 2010 National Book Festival

Ken Follett at the 2010 National Book Festival





Speaking Slots at the CWC Berkeley Branch Meetings

With the additional time afforded by the CWC Berkeley Branch’s move to the Oakland Main Library (the first meeting is scheduled for Sunday, January 17—we are no longer meeting at the Jack London Square Barnes & Noble), the Marketing Group has the opportunity to highlight one of our member authors at each meeting.  The author event will be in addition to the featured educational speaker. The first author will be scheduled for our February meeting.

 The event will be publicized along with ordinary club publicity including press releases to area media and flyers at the library’s information desk.

The first two books will be chosen by a selection committee headed by our President, AL Levenson.  Thereafter, a rotating selection committee will be established. Selection criteria considered to fill a slot will be based on the following:

 •Writing quality, as recognized by sale to a quality publisher, thoughtful reviews, author’s history of successful publication, and the personal opinions of the selection committee.

 •Author’s commitment to implementing his own marketing plan.

 Preference will be given to:

•authors who are active member of the Marketing Group.

•authors who are active in the operation of the club.

•recently published books.

 All members of the marketing group are encouraged to make a mini-presentation (20 minutes) to the marketing group and receive feedback to help them improve and polish their presentation.

 In order to be considered for 2010, please bring two copies of your book to the next CWC meeting on January 17, 2010 at 125 14th Street, Oakland, CA 94612-4397, (510) 238-3134.

 The Main Library Website offers more than one link for directions.


 With only so many meetings a year, please understand if the selection team does not offer you a slot. This is most likely not a criticism of your work—rather a decision in favor of another author’s work that met more of the requirements for the slot.

 If you have any questions or are interested in how to create other book reading opportunities, please come to the Marketing Group meetings and help explore how we can leverage such opportunities. The Marketing Group meeting will start at 1:00 pm to 2:00 pm at the same time the club’s board meets.  The scheduled presentation will kick off at 2:00 pm.  When author events begin in February, they will start at 3:00 pm following the guest speaker.