|Photo: Google Maps. (Can't you tell by the little yellow guy?)|
If you happen to be in downtown Kansas City, MO, this weekend, stop by the “Gotham Arts Project” Crossroads Art District, 2100 Grand. As part of the monthly “First Friday” event in Kansas City, the Gotham Arts Project is hosting an three-day “extravaganza” of “Art, Photography, Book signings, Jewelry, Sculpture, Entertainment , and more,” according to their flyer.
One of the participants will be yours truly.
I’ll be present most of the weekend along with other members of my writing cohorts, the fabled Monday Night Writers Group. We will be selling copies of the books we’ve published, including my comic book, Gold Dust.
I’ll also be reading from my novel-in-progress, The Power Club™ at 2 p.m. both Saturday and Sunday.
Why am I reading from a book that hasn’t been published yet? The same three reasons you should do public readings from your own works-in-progress:
Experience. The more experience you have reading your work in public, the better you’ll get. When your book is finally published, you'll be rarin' to go!
Building an audience. Reading in public attracts potential readers to your work. Ideally, they will fall in love with your characters, your writing style, or even you (but not in a stalker kind of way), and they will look forward to your book when it’s published.
Even if the audience is only mildly interested, the title of your book or your name may jog their memory later, prompting them to give your work a second look.
Network, network, network. Writers learn from other writers. We learn by watching them do readings. We learn by interacting with them. We learn from just being around places where writing is celebrated.
But won’t readers be disappointed if they like your book and can’t buy it yet?
That’s why you have a blog. (You do have a blog, right?) That's why you do social media networking such as Facebook and Twitter. So you can keep potential readers informed with updates and maybe even entice them further with free chapters of your work-in-progress.
So drop by 2100 Grand this weekend and see what writers do when they’re not, well, writing.
The Gotham Arts Project's schedule:
May 4, 6-9:30 p.m.: First Friday activities
May 5, 10 a.m.-4 p.m.: Children's reading (2 p.m.), music, dance, authors' readings
May 6, 12 noon-4 p.m.: Children's reading (2 p.m.), music, dance, authors' readings. [Update: The Sunday readings have been cancelled.]
A percentage of sales will be donated to Kansas City Hospice.