How to Give a Killer Presentation

Are you using speaking engagements to enlarge your audience and sell more books? If so, check out this infographic on How to Give a Killer Presentation. Follow the 11 steps outlined and you will better engage your audience.

How to Give a Killer Presentation

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Lesson from a Garage Sale

Over the past decade, I have held a handful of garage sales. A couple years ago, while doing a garage sale, my children baked and sold cookies to shoppers. The cookies were a hit. We ended up selling more cookies than garage sale items.


Remembering the success they had a few years ago, my children decided to sell cookies at our recent garage sale. This year, they did not sell a single cookie, but we sold over half of our garage sale items.

I believe our garage sale experience (although limited) suggests a principle that can be used when promoting and selling books. It is simply this: Lack of success at one venue does not mean lack of success at all similar venues.

In other words, if you take your books to a local book fair one year and you don’t generate much interest, don’t become too discouraged. Interest really depends on a number of factors—just like my garage sales. One year everyone wanted cookies, another year no one wanted them. Why? I don’t have an answer for that except to suggest that maybe the clientele was different, maybe the weather affected the people’s mood, or maybe cookies have gone out of fashion.

At any rate, just because your book does not do well at one venue, don’t write off all similar events. The next one you attend may have a different climate, different people, and different interests.

One of the biggest mistakes I see new authors and publishers do is to give up too soon. Take encouragement from my little experience with cookies at garage sales, and don’t get discouraged. Try again; you might have a different result.

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Paying to Meet an Author

In today’s economic climate, bookstores are desperately looking for ways to keep their revenues flowing. As a result, a few bookstores have begun to charge customers to attend authors’ events held at their stores.

Some stores are requiring a book purchase to attend an author reading or signing. Others are charging $5.00 per person to attend an author event in their bookstore.

It used to be that bookstores held author events to bring business into their stores. The theory was that an author appearance would itself generate revenue by bringing customers in. These customers would then shop while in the bookstore and make purchases.

It appears that this is not happening the way it used to. Bookstore owners now say they are charging customers to attend author events because too many people regularly come to events having already bought a book online or are planning to do so later. These bookstore owners feel that consumers now see the bookstore merely as another library — a place to browse, do informal research and pick up staff recommendations.

I can fully appreciate a bookstore expecting and requiring customers to purchase the book at their store when attending an author signing. Bringing a book purchased elsewhere into a bookstore just for the purpose of having the author sign the book is cheesy.

Bookstores do need to make money. However, the concern has been raised that, if this practice becomes wide-spread, lesser-known, non-bestselling authors may lose out. Bookstores might not be willing to host authors who may not be able to generate enough “revenue” through book sales or advance ticket sales.

I can only hope that bookstores, especially Christian bookstores, will continue to provide venues for lesser-known authors as a means of generating interest and sales in their stores.

For those bookstores considering charging, I would urge you to continue to offer author events for non-bestselling authors that are free to the public. I believe it is still good for business; and good for the Kingdom as well.

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