Speaking on behalf of the Books
Public. Speaking. Who knew that two simple words could cause the talkative to clam up and the confidence to lose their cool? While the majority of the population may not find public speaking to be an enjoyable activity, it does have its benefits in the world of publishing.
Selling books can be hard. You go through the entire writing, editing, and printing process only to sell a few copies of your book. Now what? Now it’s time to put yourself out there and use public speaking as a tool to sell even more books.
The most important step to take before you start your public speaking journey is to figure out who your target audience is going to be. Not everyone is going to be interested in what you’ve decided to write about, and that’s okay. It means that you need to find out who is going to be curious and interested in your book!
By figuring out whether your book will be a hit with children who love animals, or with men and women on their journey to becoming parents, you’ll only be helping yourself. Determining your target audience is going to be crucial because that will, in turn, help you find where your speaking location should be.
After months, or maybe even years, of working on your book, now you finally have the chance to talk about it! What you choose to speak about will obviously depend on your audience and the subject matter of your book.
Maybe you’re speaking to a high school class about your memoir. There may be important lessons that you learned from your teenage years that could be helpful for them during this developmental stage in their lives. Or maybe you’ve written a travel guide based on your own travels and are speaking to a group of people looking towards retirement. They want to know what opportunities are out there and this is the chance for them to find out about them first-hand.
As was mentioned earlier, figuring out where you’re going to be speaking can often be determined based on your target audience. Let’s say your book is all about the history of yoga and there is a free yoga class every week at your local library. Why not ask if you could give a short talk about your book before the class starts? This way you could join in on the class and stick around afterwards for questions and to (hopefully!) sell signed copies of your book. If you prove to be popular enough the library may even ask you to come back and speak for longer, giving you the time you need to really sell your work.
There are so many locations that are constantly looking for speakers to motivate and inspire people of all ages. Contact various organizations in your local area such as YMCAs, nursing homes, libraries, and schools to see if they would be interested in hearing you talk.
Public speaking may intimidate a large number of the population, but that’s not a reason to shy away from it. Figuring out who will want to listen to you, what you want to talk about, and where you want to speak is all just the first step. From there you’ll be able to read excerpts, tell personal stories, and get to know your readers. Selling books may not always be glamorous, but it always promises to be an adventure!