Whatever you do, don't read

The Wall Street Journal looks at the increasing number of bookstores that are requesting that authors not read, or read only a little. The article points out that hearing the author read from the book is hardly value added, as presumably most bookstore patrons are more than capable of reading the book themselves.

Some alternatives they explore:

- Having the bookstore owner interview the author
- Teaming the author up with a writer friend or a writer who blurbed the book (potentially twice the audience)
- Powerpoint presentation on some topic related to the book
- Teaming the author up with their editor or agent (I'm presuming this only happens in NYC)
- Having the author tell background stories about the book
- Just having a Q&A

"When some authors read, I'll mutter to myself 'is that snoring I hear?'" said Charles Stillwagon, the event manager of the Tattered Cover, a bookstore in Denver.

Read more here.

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I typically agree with this. I know the author is who wrote the book, but some of them are NOT good readers, and it makes it awkward. I like to add my own voices, etc.

However, an author reading a passage from her book got me interested in her book. (I was at the event to see another author--there were four of them there.) So it was like a sampling.

Still, I'd prefer they not read, and just do a talk and have a Q&A, and save time for autographs and pix.
I think if they keep it short - under five minutes - it can be good. Especially if it ends on a cliff hanger.