Offer more than just a book reading or lecture

When giving a presentation about your book or a topic related to that title, you may want to consider going beyond a simple reading, lecture or Q&A. In an era when anyone can watch a video about virtually any topic at any location simply by whipping out a cell phone, many people expect more than just a lecture.

The most obvious solution is a slide show that complements the text of your presentation. It need not be a PowerPoint program, though putting such a show together is easier than you might imagine and worth learning if you have the time. If crunched, though, you might want to simply assemble a group of pictures, rename them so they are numbered in the order they will be presented, and then show them using your laptop’s media software with you clicking on the mouse to the next pic. When I recently gave a talk about wildflowers that can be sees while hiking a specific area, I showed pics of those blooms in my presentation. Make sure the pictures are large (over 90 KB in size) and hook at least a 17-inch monitor to your laptop for showing the slides.

Another option is handouts. Don’t inundate audience members with them, and be sure that they include information they would find useful. For example, with the wildflower presentation, on a single page I gave a month-by-month list of when plants bloomed in the area. Always be sure to leave some kind of info at the bottom of the page, such as a website URL, where audience members can purchase your book(s) related to the topic.

Yet another possibility is audio. While you don’t want music or other sounds playing as you read or speak, you can use audio to supplement your piece just as would pictures. During a presentation on birdwatching opportunities when hiking a region, I collected audio snippets of various bird songs and calls (all available online for free) and used my laptop’s media software to play them.

Indeed, anytime you can appeal to the audience member’s senses through sound, taste, smell or touch, you will make an impression upon them. So be creative – if you wrote a cookbook, offer food samples; if you wrote a book about beauty products, bring some samples for the audience to sniff or to even rub on their skin.

Book sales will be sure to follow!


My name is Rob Bignell. I’m an affordable, professional editor who runs Inventing Reality Editing Service, which meets the manuscript needs of writers both new and published. I also offer a variety of self-publishing services. During the past decade, I’ve helped more than 300 novelists and nonfiction authors obtain their publishing dreams at reasonable prices. I’m also the author of the 7 Minutes a Day… writing guidebooks, four nonfiction hiking guidebook series, and the literary novel Windmill. Several of my short stories in the literary and science fiction genres also have been published.