Tag Archives: speaking engagement

7 Tips for Successful Author Speaking Engagements




Nina Amir, Book Marketing guru once said: “For some reason, aspiring and published authors seem to cling to the outdated idea that a publisher will do the hard work of promoting their book for them. That’s why writers often want to become traditionally published. But that’s not a good reason to pursue this publishing route. If you want your book to succeed, you will have to do the same amount of work to promote your book whether you self-publish or traditionally publish.”

One of the things authors can do to promote their books, other than to write blog posts, guest blogs, write magazine/newspaper articles or apply for writing contests is to get as many speaking engagements as possible. No matter if at writer conferences, library presentations or – if you are writing non-fiction books – at association meetings. One more way to create your author brand and extend your platform.  At the same time sell more books and get your author name out. Best of all: Many speakers make more money with their talks than with selling their books. 

So, How Do You Find Speaking Engagements?
Search for Writer Conferences and Book Fairs, contact libraries, bookstores, museums and book clubs – or just search the internet for keywords such as speakers wanted, key note speaker for … conference or book event. Find more through Google search under “How to find speaking engagements” or “Tips to get more speaking engagements”.

Practice your speeches
A great help to polish your speaking skills is to attend Toastmaster club meetings that can be found in practically every city in North America and worldwide, no matter if you are in Japan, South Africa, India, Israel or anywhere in Europe and where you can practice in small groups of like-minded people.

Author Hope Clark, who organized herself dozens of speaking engagements per year, gave great advice to fellow authors in one of her terrific newsletters:

“What you do is the following

1) Write a lot.
2) Write well.
3) Pitch a lot.
4) Pitch well.
5) Get depressed at rejections
6) Get over it.
7) Repeat.

The events I speak at came about from me hearing/reading about it . . . and asking to be involved.
The year before my book “Lowcountry Bribe” came out, I spent weeks pitching to every event I could find. Dozens. I chose to tag events where writers congregated because I spoke not only about my mysteries, but about FundsforWriters as well. My rejection rate was pretty disenchanting. But I still hit twenty-six events in nine states in nine months. The bottom line is people saw me, heard me, and decided they wanted me. I keep receiving requests out of the blue. And that’s how it works.

Sure, you’ll have bad events. They are the best lessons you’ll ever learn. But you’ll have great ones, too, and you’ll float on their success for a week afterwards.”

Read more about Hope Clark and her speaking engagements:

More tips on how to get speaking engagements and great examples of (author) websites, respectively their convincing speaker pages, can be found on Erno Hanninks’ website.




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Giving Speeches Helps Selling Books

Writers tend to be shy types, happy to hole up in basement offices, remote cabins or messy dens, turning down social invitations in favor of a computer and lots of coffee (or whiskey: ) Why on earth should they speak publicly?

How speaking can help your writing career:

  • You will sell more books after your talk. Attending a writer’s conference as a speaker / expert is much better than attending as a participant. You get instant credibility, even before your work is examined.
  • The more you speak, the better you get, and the better your speaking resume gets – the more writers’ conferences you will be invited to speak at.  Speakers are looked upon as subject matter experts, even if they aren’t.  Plus, you get to sit at the editors and agents’ table!
  • Speaking enhances your author’s brand and extends the efforts you make through social media because your audience is very likely tweeting or blogging about the conference. Public speeches help even to promote your online platform.
  • People who have heard you speak are more inclined to like you and your writing. There is a kind of celebrity involved with speaking. When you speak, no one else is talking; YOU are talking, and the audience listening. That dynamic illustrates a premise that you are someone important who can be learned from.  If you give out business cards or bookmarks with your information on it – blog site, Amazon book page, website – people will see it valuable, because you have been set apart as a VIP.

How do you achieve this desirable state of feeling comfortable when speaking publicly? 

Toastmaster’s for sample is a great way to learn this skill in a friendly, supportive way.  Everyone at the meetings is working to be a better speaker so you are in good company. After a few months of having a helpful, friendly group of people listening to and critiquing your speeches, heading out to a public forum will give you lots of confidence. The more you speak, the easier it gets. Isn’t it worth a try?

Get some encouragement with these videos:



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