Suppose you gave a reading and ...

almost nobody came?
(Photo: Rae Bridgman with 2 of her 6
kids at launch of The Serpent's Spell
in April, 2006.)

I was torn, last Tuesday, between going
to a friend's reading at our public library or attending my monthly
critique group. I opted for the latter and now regret my choice.
Turns out, turnout for the reading was dismally low.
The question is WHY?

The event was well advertised - or was it?
Posters were put up at the university and
at the library (co-sponsors of the event).
But was that enough? Obviously not.

It's a lesson for me - still waiting for my
own first book to come out. Never assume
an audience. Maybe I have to bribe people
with ... I don't know ... food, perhaps.

I mean, if you can't fill seats in your home
town, what happens if you go to an out-of-
town place?

My friend is a fantastic speaker. She's funny
and energetic. But if nobody shows up, how
will anybody know? It's like the tree falling
in the forest. It makes a sound even if
nobody hears it. Or does it?

Anyway. I feel guilty for not showing
up. Rae Bridgman is a terrific writer and
her two books, A Serpent's Spell and
Amber Ambrosia
(published by Great Plains)
only make me want to read the next in the series.
Learn more at her website:

The midgrade books are set in our city
of Winnipeg. They're full of Latin phrases
and fantastical turns of plot. I highly
recommend them to anyone who gobbled
up the Harry Potter books.
(And isn't that almost everybody?)

Yes, I think it's safe to say, NEVER assume
an audience. Let me see, chocolate sounds
like a good bribing food, or maybe carrots or ...

But really, how can you make sure you get
a decent turnout? A good weather forecast,
a place with good parking, perhaps a couple
of other speakers? Any ideas are appreciated.

Talk to you soon,

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Just ask. Send invitations to everyone you know and ask them to forward the invitation to their friends. And follow up, by phone if you can. Invite a great speaker like Debra M. to speak at the reading. She's hilarious!

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