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Writing Books/Book Presentations


I've just published two political thrillers (a third will be out in '07).  I live in the U.S.  Anyway, I'll be doing my first book presentation at an independent bookstore in a few weeks time.  I've attended quite a number of such events over the years.  What I'd like to ask you, however, is whether you structure your oral presentations in a specific way that you find effective, or whether you more or less wing it or taylor it to your audience.  

I'll have 20-30 minutes to talk and read from my two books, then answer questions and do signings.  Any tips you can provide me would be most welcome.  Thanks.

Hi Jim,
Happy New Year!  Over the last ten years I have done hundreds of these presentations and been a guest at hundreds more. It is very clear that the readings work best as short and sharp. I limit myself to no more than three paragraphs. I always talk first and read last. Although, if you have two books, a reading to start and end with a reading.

What works best is the author talking from the heart. Prepared, read scripts work very badly unless the author is a superb actor!  What people want is connection. Keep it short, humble and make eye contact. Always leave them wanting more.

All the best.


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Sandy McCutcheon


Author of 22 plays, 12 bestselling thrillers, a memoir and children's fiction.I can work with people on the process of writing, what to expect and ask for from an editor. How to work with the publisher`s marketing and publicity people. And how to survive book launches and publicity tours!


Published author of 22 plays, 12 bestselling thrillers, a young adult and three non-fiction titles. Visit his Moroccan blog at for a look at his blogging work.

St Andrews, Helsinki University and other institutions. Adult Educator of the Year Award, Australia

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