You’ve made it! Your debut novel is selling a robust 16 copies per week and now everyone wants to know more about you. It’s a good thing you’re on a nationwide reading tour – so you can tell them!
The thing to remember about doing a live reading is that people have been doing this kind of thing since the dawn of the cavemen. Think about it: simply picking up a book and reading it. You’ve been training for this since you were in Kindergarten!
The only question is, do you play ball (i.e. play nice) or do you lash out and bite the hand that feeds you? This question is not as easy as it might sound. Remember, anyone can do a live reading, so long as they can hold a book and project coherent sounds from their person. Is there anything particularly memorable about that? Not really. Not unless you’re wearing an especially jaunty tie (women) or a colorful silk scarf (men). No, if you want to be remembered, you’re going to want to clamp your teeth down on the nearest set of hands and then repeat as often as necessary.
Start your reading off with a patented eye roll and then a scowl. Thank your crowd for being there and tell them how great it is to be able to do their reading for them. Tell them, “As long as I’m here doing all the work, does anyone have any food they would like me to chew for them? Food which I can then deposit, already chewed, into your open craws?” And from there, be sure to let them know that you’re more than happy to come out into the crowd and tilt people’s heads this way or that before moving about on the stage. Heaven forbid they should have to put in the effort to physically move their heads from side to side. This is their night. You’re there for them. Make sure they know that. Tell them at least twice.