A review of Talk Up Your Book: How to Sell Your Book through Public Speaking, Interviews, Signings, Festivals, Conferences and More by Patricia Fry

Reviewed by Joanna Celeste

Talk Up Your Book: How to Sell Your Book through Public Speaking, Interviews, Signings, Festivals, Conferences and More
By Patricia Fry
Allworth Press
Paperback: 320 pages, November 1, 2012, ISBN-13: 978-1581159226

We tend to think of public speaking as that thing Toastmasters do, limited to events involving crowds and microphones.

It turns out speaking is a dynamic activity that can be embraced by everyone. Fry recommends that we take each experience as an opportunity, and make the most of each opportunity. She shares a myriad of author engagements that anyone, even the shyest amongst us, can use to foster meaningful experiences and successful exposure for projects.

Talk Up Your Book runs the gamut, from how to build a platform as a speaker to launching a multi-faceted campaign involving speaking, presentations, book-signings, holding workshops, attending book festivals, utilizing traditional and social media, and even getting paid to speak about your own work.

The remarkable thing is how Fry manages to break down this overwhelming sea of options into bite-size pieces that can be done by the average person. The chapters are short and mostly self-contained.

Fry reminds authors to write for, and speak to, our people—fellow gardeners, romance enthusiasts, cat-lovers. Our audience is our friend because the members share our interest. How could we be afraid to talk to our friends?

If the prospect of speaking is still scary, Fry offers a comprehensive chapter on “Viable Virtual Speaking Opps” and “Communication Counts: Talk About Your Book Everywhere You Go”, which includes a section on utilizing small talk. She also gives advice on doing radio interviews, where the host is the only person actually seen. She then shows the way to success through public speaking: how to speak, how to set up, and how to talk up a project. There’s also a comprehensive resource section on public speaking.

Fry is refreshingly realistic when she gives examples about contacts made during book signings, book festivals and such, as well as real-life stories of book-launch parties. While much of the information, resources, guidance and anecdotes in this book come from Fry, she also interviewed two dozen authors, publicists, social media experts and others for this book. So readers receive the benefit of several professionals and experts.

This is a must-have book for anyone who is involved in (or thinking about adding) public speaking, conferences, signings and so forth to their book marketing repertoire.

About the reviewer: Joanna Celeste is an author, poet, editor, journalist, and official reviewer for Blogcritics, E & K Family Book Review and TRR (TheRomanceReview.com). She is also a Literary Associate for You Read It Here First (http://fromtheauthors.wordpress.com ) and enjoys interviewing authors. Visit her at http://www.joannaceleste.com.