Carol Muskoron
 
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I love giving readings from my novels. I learn a little bit more about my fiction every time I do one. If you can come out of your ivory tower and meet the public now and then, I reckon it's a very, very good idea.  Here are my tips for how to make a success of doing a public reading from your novel...

1) Scan your novel for a piece of writing that stands alone - this is tricky, but it's very important. However short your reading is, your audience needs to feel that they have heard something with a beginning, a middle and an end.


2) Have some cards with your novel's info on it to give out - people came up to me after my reading and it was brilliant to hand out a card rather than relying on their vague memory to recall who I am and what my book was called when they next buy something on Kindle. And writing the wording for your business focusses you - you have to think: what is the salient info about my novel; what might make people buy it? I didn't know 'Twelve Hours' was a heartbreaking black comedy until I had these printed!

3) Write an intro to the piece and a sign off paragraph. Even a short intro will help readers engage with you. As a sign off I always thank people for listening and tell them where they can get my book.

4) Print out the piece you've chosen, read it aloud and time yourself. You don't want to read for longer than 10 mins. Mark paragraphs and sentences that you could lose, if necessary. I always have some marked out and if I think things are dragging I do the shorter version.

5) Edit your piece. There are two reasons for doing this: Firstly, it might need editing to make it a successful standalone piece of writing - tinker to make sure that everything your audience needs to know is there for them. Secondly, it's wonderful to take the opportunity to focus on some writing that was signed, sealed and published. You will almost definitely find ways of improving it and you can add the edit to an ebook instantly. Oh the joy of Kindle publishing!

Bye for now
Carol

PS If you want to read my heartbreaking black comedy Twelve Hours, you can buy it here.

 


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Very important information. I read books to my kids every night before they sleep. Sometimes I want to make it very real but I have not been successful at this diversity. These five points have shown what was lacking in my reading. Keep it up.

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