SURVEY: How Long Should an Author Read at an Event?

In Discussion by Edward Nawotka

Readings are often just a prelude to the real attraction of author events: eating, drinking and making merry.

Podium with microphone for speaker

By Edward Nawotka

“I don’t like a lot of reading events. I find them boring,” says Meike Ziervogel, publisher of Peirene Press in today’s feature story.

Me too. I’d much rather read the book than hear an author read from it.

Granted, there are many reasons that people attend author events — food, wine, socializing and a chance to meet and have one of your favorite authors sign their books, but unless it is David Sedaris, Alexander McCall Smith, or Chuck Palahniuk,  that you are going to see, then more often than the actual ‘author reading’ is something you must endure before you get to the really fun stuff. It’s a personal opinion, I know, but one I share with many others.

Are you a lover of readings? If so, forgive me. But, please, tell us why. Share an anecdote about your favorite event in the comments.

In the meantime — assuming an event takes 45 minutes to an hour — what do you think is the ideal length of time an author should read at an event before opening the floor to discussion and signing books.

[poll id=22]
About the Author

Edward Nawotka

A widely published critic and essayist, Edward Nawotka serves as a speaker, educator and consultant for institutions and businesses involved in the global publishing and content industries. He was also editor-in-chief of Publishing Perspectives since the launch of the publication in 2009 until January 2016.