How many groups do you speak to about your book and its topic once it has been published? Many author believe that once their book is published that the bulk of their work is done. In reality, marketing your book through speaking engagements before and after publication is a crucial component of its success. In fact, selling more copies of your book is often dependent on the amount of effort that you spend promoting it through presentations and similar means.
While delivering an effective presentation can be stressful for some people, that should not prevent you from getting out there in front of groups. The benefits outweigh the minuses. By getting out in front of groups, you can develop a following through personal branding where potential readers associate your face, name and products (books). In addition, you potentially develop a residual income stream if you can arrange to be paid for your appearances.
When thinking about presentations to groups, you may want to start small with discussion groups related to book signings, at local and regional writer, author and publisher groups, or at local schools or colleges offering writing and literature classes. Such venues provide an opportunity to practice your speaking skill and build your confidence level with smaller groups. They also help build your author platform and potentially generate sales since attendees often want a copy of your book and tell others about you. Later, you can speak at local and conferences, civic and business groups, at local libraries or other venues. As your confidence and speaking skills grow, you should consider national and international writer and publisher conferences.
The nice thing about presenting to groups is that you can do back of the room sales and you can also potentially be paid to speak, depending on your topic and expertise. Nonfiction authors with subject matter expertise on topics that people need and want (e.g. business, self-help, or skill based topics) usually have more opportunity to generate revenue from this approach than many fiction writers. They can also potentially conduct workshops or learning events to share their knowledge and skills with others for a fee. Of course, as you become a known entity the likelihood of payment for speaking increases for both categories of writers.
For resources on learning about the speaking and training professions, contact the national Speakers Association (NSA) and ASTD (formerly the American Society for Training and Development). Both are membership organizations that sell useful publications and have annual conferences where you can network and learn from like-minded professionals. Both groups also have regional and local chapters in many geographic locations that provide speaking and networking opportunities.
For assistance in delivering your content in a professional, engaging and creative manner, get copies The Creative Training Idea Book: Inspired Tips and Techniques for Engaging and Effective Learning and Training Workshop Essentials: Designing Developing and Delivering Learning Events That Get Results.