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The Complete Handbook of Novel Writing, 3rd Edition by Writer's Digest Writer's Digest Editors

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Chapter Fifty-Two

Going Public

How to Ace Readings, Signings, Interviews, and More

Elizabeth Sims

It was a dark and stormy night in Northern California. I was in a large bookstore to read from my debut novel, Holy Hell, and this was my very first author event. Only four people had shown up, but I felt triumphant that it wasn’t zero.

In honor of the occasion, I’d brought a box of fine chocolates to share. My small audience sat comfortably and paid attention as I spoke. At the end there were no questions, but everybody came up for an extra chocolate.

One person told me she’d enjoyed my reading. I tried to hand her a book, desperate to make at least one sale, saying, “Wouldn’t you like to get one? I’d be glad to sign it for you.”

“Oh, no,” she said. ...

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