Speaking: How to Book Speaking Engagements - article

You have written your book and it is soon to come out. You’ve sent out press releases, but you have yet to book even one speaking event. As a new speaker on the writing scene, you want opportunities to share your book and knowledge with others. How do you land speaking engagements so you will have the chance to get the word out there about your book?

Take this step: develop a simple press kit. A press kit is a hard or soft copy of informational materials about you and your book. It includes a review copy of your book or a three-chapter sample called a chapbook, a list of reviews with short clips of favorable ones, a press release that tells the ins and outs of your book, a short bio with a photo of you, and some swag such as a bookmark or a color postcard of your cover.

Local radio shows are pleased to interview local authors, as are local TV talk shows. Always approach these outlets with professionalism. Offer them your kit and the opportunity to interview you. Also target local bookstores. Drop by with your kit. Avoid busy times and speak to the bookstore event coordinator about scheduling an event in the store. Many bookstores also have book clubs. Speaking at one of these might be a fit for you. The process of writers often fascinates readers; they also like to feel a personal connection when buying books.

Many authors are also speaking in non-traditional ways. Consider doing a Skype session. Again, contact book clubs that may be interested in your work. These clubs can be anywhere in the world. Also think about contacting online writing conferences with proposals for events. This is a great way to gain exposure, speaking experience and to create buzz for your books.

Some authors get paid to speak about writing, so develop a speaker flyer. This flyer differs from a promotional kit because it lists fees. You are not paid for book promotion, but you are paid to speak about writing. This flyer should include a brief description of your various talks and your personal bio. It should also include your professional photo, your book cover, a couple of endorsements, a couple of book review clips and your fees.

Next, get on the gravy train. Many authors supplement their income with speaking engagements at conferences. How do you get a lucrative speaking career going alongside your writing career? Start by doing a number of speaking engagements for free. Offer to speak about writing at a local library or a senior citizen center. These credits will help you land bigger gigs.

Speaking is a valuable way to create buzz for your book, to develop a reputation as an expert, and also to supplement your author’s income. Get to work on this important piece of your writing career.

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