Start months in advance to secure speaking engagements
On November 16, 2020 | 0 Comments | Book marketing tips |

I live in Brooklyn, so when I stumbled across a book club that specializes in novels set in New York, I reached out and offered to come speak to the group. The club moderator agreed that Katwalk would be a perfect fit, so we set it up.

Guess how much time passed between when I first contacted the moderator and when I attended the meeting. Six months. It’s amazing how much planning is involved in the smallest of events, so imagine what goes into the bigger ones. Major conferences select their speakers up to a year in advance!

The lesson is clear: If you want to set up speaking engagements, start early. As for where to speak, there are countless organizations that could be a good fit for what you have to offer. For small book clubs like the one I’m attending, pitching just your book might be enough, but for professional organizations, here are some suggestions to improve your chance of being selected:

  • Create a brief bio about yourself, your book, and the topic(s) on which you would like to speak, e.g. how to get published, the story behind your book, how to stay motivated when writing a book, etc.
  • Get a professional headshot taken — or something as close to a professional headshot as you can manage.
  • If you’ve spoken before, collect testimonials to use in your pitch.
  • Regularly update your speaking bio with anything impressive about you or your book, e.g. awards, press mentions or other groups to which you have spoken.

Once you start reaching out to organizations, I guarantee you’ll hear replies along the lines of “We’d love to have you but we’re all booked up until….” so you’ll quickly learn the importance of starting early. But that’s okay! Better late then never.

By the way, to find book clubs near you, try a search on




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