Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Author Readings

Author Readings

Hi everyone –

Thanks for stopping by Castles & Guns! This is my first blog of 2012 here on Castles & Guns and look, I remembered to post it! LOL Go me! (Don’t ask how many times I forgot last year! *blush*)

Okay now that I got my cheer out of the way, I’m really curious about how you feel about author readings.

I’m not a big audiobooks listener. In fact, the only one I’ve ever listened to all the way through was Stephen King’s LT’s Theory on Pets.

I bought the tapes (ugh that makes me sound old! LOL) Because Stephen King did the reading himself, and I LOVE listening to him reading his own work. He’s passionate about it, and hearing him tell me the story always makes me eager to go read it. I guess maybe I feel closer to the book because he “told” me the story.

Does that make sense?

I attended World Fantasy Con in 2011 and was lucky enough to attend Neil Gaiman’s reading. Not only does he have a cute accent, but seeing him read his own words made the stories come alive for me. Maybe it goes back to our caveman roots? Like the author is sitting around a campfire and we’re the first souls to ever hear this tale…

What do you think? Do you enjoy author readings? Would you attend live readings?

When Night Walker was first released, my publicist scheduled me to be on a few blogtalk raido programs. One of the programs wanted me to give them a 10 minute reading from the book. OMG was I ever nervous. It surprised me because I can sing and act on stage no problem, but reading my own words out loud felt like running naked across the superbowl stadium! LOL

But when I finished the host was choked up with tears. From my words. Wow! Maybe I misjudged author readings?

My first short story anthology just released and I’ve been contemplating reading one or two of the short stories and posting the sound files on my website. Is that something readers would be interested in? Do other people love hearing a story told to them like they’re sharing the same campfire?

What do you think? I’m really interested to hear your opinion, and if you have reader friends, will you send them over here too? Inquiring minds want to know…. LOL

Happy 2012!!!

Lisa Kessler


  1. I'm not going to be much help :) I either love author readings or hate them. There are authors who can read and truly capture their audience. On the other side, there are authors who really don't know how to read aloud! They know that what they wrote is compelling, but when they read it themselves, it becomes 1 dimensional. I am NOT going to name names. It isn't fair to the excellent writers who just don't know how to read aloud.

  2. Ha! Good point Dawn! :)

    And I agree the author does need to have the ability to read aloud. I'm a singer and performer so I think my out loud reading is all right, but I'd definitely be sure a few people listened before I shared it! LOL

    It did surprise me how nervous I got though... Yikes!

    Thanks so much for commenting!

    Lisa :)

  3. That'd be awesome if you posted a sound file of you reading a couple of your short stories!! I've only had very little experience with author readings, but I think depending on the author and how they read it, it can really powerful.

  4. I think I missed the question earlier :)

    I think if you aren't afraid of reading your own writings out loud, you should be able to do a good job. I truly believe that's what defeats those authors who don't read their own stuff out loud very well: They're afraid of making mistakes and so make a lot of them. OR They "know" their own stuff so well, they actually end up not reading what they wrote!!

    I'm not a writer, I am a voracious reader. And a very fast one. Which makes me an awful "out loud" reader. I can't keep up with my brain :D This may be what defeats some writers: They're very smart (as shows in their writings) and they tend to read fast (especially since they know what they wrote). Its easy to get 'lost' in the reading if the brain is working 2X faster than the tongue....

    By all means, if you want to do some sound files of you reading, I would listen :) With the training you've had, I don't see how there could really be a problem.

  5. I took Handsome to an author reading (his first of mine) last fall and I'm glad I did. He said I totally captivated the audience. However, I don't think I would do a sound file well. So...

  6. Hi Sarah -

    Thanks for the input!

    So you think people would be curious and listen?

    Also I've seen author readings on youtube, but they're usually just reading with their head in the book. Is it fun to watch? LOL

    Is just listening enough?

    You got me thinking now! LOL

    Thanks Sarah!

    Lisa :)

  7. Hi Dawn -

    Oh thanks for coming back! :) Being a voracious reader, you're just the input I'm looking for...

    So if the author puts out a good "reading" online, as a reader would you be curious and listen to it? Is that something that might make you want to read the rest of the book?

    Would you listen to an author read something of theirs that you've already read just to hear how they say the names, etc?

    Thanks for all the great input!

    Lisa :)

  8. Hi Vicki -

    You're the opposite of me... So far I've only done a reading over the phone, not in person. I wonder how nervous I would be then? LOL

    You enjoyed doing the live reading though, right? Why don't you think you'd do a great job with recording it for your website?

    I'm just curious! LOL

    Thanks so much for the feedback...

    Lisa :)

  9. The readings I watched (on Youtube of one of my favorite authors) she had the book (or maybe manuscript pages, can't remember) in her hand, and she was on a stage doing it for an audience. I thought it was great. When I'm listening to something like a reading, I zone out anyways and pay more attention to picturing the words in my mind than watching the author... does that sound weird?

    So yeah... I think people would be curious and listen, and I think listening would be enough unless you wanted to do an author reading video. Either way, I'd totally listen to/watch it!

  10. By the way, this is really interesting! It makes me wonder about doing one too. Huh... LOL. Keep me posted on what you find out!

  11. A good reading, like a good inside the front cover blurb, will oftentimes give me the push I want to purchase/read something I'm on the fence about. A reading that is less than good may not dissuade me from purchasing altogether, but it might push that book down lower on the list.

    I don't let any one thing influence my decisions to purchase and/or read a book. That decision is made up of a bunch of different bits of input. Listening to the author reading a teaser for a book is just one more piece of information along with things like Twitter, FB, name recognition, back-of-book or inside-front-cover blurb, etc.

  12. While I haven't really listened to any author readings, I have listened to some great audiobooks. I used to have a long commute, so I relied on audiobooks to help break up the boredom. I think there are some fabulous readers out there, and I would guess that there are some authors who excel at it.

  13. Thanks for the feedback Dawn! :) It's great to know how readers decide to take a chance on a book!

    And Sarah I'll definitely keep you posted!

    Lisa :)

  14. Hi Tiffany -

    If you enjoy audio books, hunt down LT's Theory on Pets. I think Stephen King recorded it at a live reading at a college... He was Fabulous!!!

    And if you can find Neil Gaiman reading his own material it's a real treat too!

    Thanks for the input Tiffany! I'll let you know if I decide to post any readings...

    Lisa :)

  15. I have gone to many (we're talking over a period of 5 years 2-10 author signings/readings/discussions per month) author readings and discussions. I love them. It's a chance for authors and readers to connect. Some authors are fantastic! Go to a reading with David Sedaris. His words don't come across on paper as funny but listen to him read his words--he's hysterical. The words come to life because of the intonations he gives to them. I have authors I will buy/read anything they put out because they remembered me from a previous signing. Of all the authors I met only one turned me off by her aloofness and playing to her family (she was related to half the audience.) I love going to book conferences for the opportunity to meet authors. This past Saturday I was at the Women Read/Women Write conference where 11 authors discussed publishing, writing, and books for 4 hours with readers and hope-to-be-soon authors. It was fantastic. Authors are the most generous and supportive people I've met. No, I have no desire to be an author. It's hard work.

  16. Hi She -

    Thanks so much for stopping by!!! I love meeting readers!!! :)

    And I agree with you, authors are really cool people!!! I've never seen David Sedaris read, but I bet he is funny!

    I've been to two Christopher Moore readings which are hysterical because he's famous for NOT reading and his readings! LOL He just tells stories until your sides hurt... :)

    DO you attend RT or RomCon? I'm hoping to make it to those this year if I can swing it...

    But back to the topic! LOL If an author posted links to their readings on their website or blog, would you listen? If the readings are good would it entice you to try a new author and buy their book?

    Thanks so much for stopping by and sharing your input!

    Lisa :)

  17. I've attended RT and Romanticon. If an author did a reading on his/her website, I'm not sure. For me the excitement of the reading is speaking with the author and getting the book signed. If I go to a reading I'm buying the book.

  18. Great information She! Thanks for coming back to let me know...

    It would be interesting to see how many people might listen to an online reading! :)