How to Talk About Your Novel in Public

Lemony Snicket (aka Daniel Handler)
The best novelist I’ve ever seen present? Daniel Handler (aka Lemony Snicket) … especially when he brings his accordion.
(Photo by Rod Searcey)

Because I spent 16 years running the Stanford Publishing Courses, I’ve seen far more than my share of book talks–the good, the bad and the ugly.

It’s tricky, creating a talk that pulls people in. You can’t just read passages from your book. You’ve got to give them some kind of show. Or you’ve got to reveal some part of yourself–real or imaginary–that relates to your book.

And if you’re talking to a literary crowd, it’s also useful to tell the tale of how the book came to you, how you got it down on paper, and what your writing process looks like.

Count on this: your audience is far more interested in you than they are in your book.

Check out this thoughtful advice on how to talk about your novel from Josh Cook, author of An Exaggerated Murder.


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