Book readings are a great way to spread the word about a new release. As reported in an earlier post, about a year ago, a couple of months after Rare Traits was published, I gave a talk about it and a reading of three short passages at the Royal Hong Kong Yacht Club in Hong Kong. The evening went well, several books were sold and feedback was good.
Being in Hong Kong again recently, I thought I’d repeat the event for book number two of the Rare Traits Trilogy – Delusional Traits. Having been a member of the RHKYC for many years, I know the place well, and the evening was once again relaxed and fun with plenty of time to chat informally about the books, writing and publishing with a bunch of interested people. Thanks to everyone there for a great evening and your very positive feedback and encouragement – yes, I promise I’ll try to get the third book in the trilogy finished asap!
Returning to Phuket last Monday, I ventured into relatively uncharted waters when I accepted an invitation to talk to a bunch of secondary school students at the very impressive HeadStart International School during their book week. Given my background, they asked me to talk about both writing and forensic science. What I didn’t realise when I first accepted the invitation was they were arranging four ninety minute sessions to four different year groups – Years 7-10!
It turned out to be a great day with many good questions and more interested students than I imagined there would be – you can’t expect all the 14-15-year-olds in a group to be riveted by an old man rabbiting on about writing. It was somewhat experimental for me – it’s been years since I spoke to schools and that was specifically in career talks. I was determined not to speak from notes, except where I had a specific quote, the result being that each talk was structured differently. That, I hope, made each one more spontaneous. Each was also different in that some groups were more responsive than others. When the students did start asking questions, they fed off each other and the discussions got quite lively. Lively is good. It was amazing how quickly each hour and a half flew by.
Clearly you’re not going to sell loads of books from an activity like this, but that’s not the point. My books aren’t really aimed at the young teen market, although some said they would be seeking them out on Amazon. They might even tell their parents, who knows? The main point of the exercise is to give something to the community (there aren’t too many authors passing through Phuket, particularly authors who are prepared to give their time for nothing) and to gain experience in standing up in public at the same time. If the presentation is interesting to the audience, everybody wins. I’m certainly enthused by the experience and I’ll be actively seeking out other opportunities. I’ll keep you posted.