Promote the reading ahead of time to friends, fans, family, stalkers.
Send organizers your bio and site info.
Rehearse your work.
Find out about how much time you have and stick to it. You should time yourself.
Bring a copy of your bio along in case the host forgets it.
Communicate to the host if you need help with the microphone.
Bring copies of your work to sell.
Let the organizers know about any of your promotional initiatives.
Arrive at least 15 minutes beforehand.
Look up and make contact with the audience members.
Stay for open mics, if they happen.
Be attentive to the other readers’ work.
Wait til you’re on stage to decide what to read and then fumble thru the pages.
Bring a thick manuscript to the stage. Bring only the work you want to read.
Edit on stage.
Read intros that are longer than the work itself.
Read from an IPhone or any other electronic device. (Your body will turn inward as you squint to read. Scrolling creates annoying delays.)
Tell long, rambling stories.
Heckle other readers.
HOSTS & ORGANIZERS
Provide instructions ahead of time to the readers about time limits, microphone availability, publicity.
Read brief bios.
Ensure there’s a book table for sales.
Promote the reading far and wide.
Ask for help with publicity if you need it.
Introduce the readers & give the audience an opportunity to clap.
Be sure everyone in the room, bar, etc knows about the reading and is told to be quiet.
Make readers feel at ease.
Provide payment of some kind, even if it’s just a free beer.
Add or make up anything to the bios to be funny or a wiseass.
Make the reading be about you. It isn’t.