Author Event Checklist

TBDlogoWhen you show up at your author event–be it a book launch, a writing conference, or a trade show–it’s easy to get sucked into the vortex of nervous excitement and lose track of taking care of business. Here’s a checklist of stuff you should do to make your event all it can be. Print it and take it with you.

  1. Have fun.
  2. Look sharp and smell good.
  3. Arrive 30 minutes before the announced starting time.
  4. Introduce yourself to as much staff as possible.
  5. Make sure they’re going to introduce you correctly and announce that you’ll be signing books.
  6. See if there’s anything in the room you can comment on.
  7. Do a physical/vocal warm-up.
  8. Rehearse your major points and opening just before you go on.
  9. Check your zipper and/or buttons.
  10. Bring a fashion helper, or use the mirror or host (if appropriate) to give you a final once-over.
  11. Bring a beverage to the podium with you.
  12. Introduce yourself with a joke, anecdote and/or story.
  13. Make eye contact.
  14. Don’t let hair hang in your eyes. Avoid fidgeting, tugging and/or picking.
  15. Have lots of energy, but don’t be manic.
  16. Take your time.
  17. Be intimate, but make sure everyone can hear you.
  18. Vary volume, pace and intensity.
  19. Don’t give away the ending.
  20. Once the Q&A starts, don’t let an audience member go on for more than a minute.
  21. Cut off the long-winded politely.
  22. When you’re finished, make sure the audience knows where you will be signing books.
  23. Try to connect with everyone who has you sign your book.
  24. Sign stock.
  25. Thank everyone for having you.
  26. Get business cards from everyone. It’s a great way to sign up people for your mailing list.
  27. Have fun.