Years later (no more experienced) with my debut book launch looming, I had to do better. Pre-publication months were spent attending bookstore events with a notebook (and money*) in hand.
Many of the ‘rules’ below I learned from either the awful readings I attended or the great ones. My first lessons in how-to-not-bore-people-to-death came from listening to and watching Boston (and Grub Street) authors Steve Almond (enormously funny, edgy, and self-deprecating) and Jenna Blum (extraordinarily entertaining, honest, and generous.) Learning by watching was invaluable.