Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Jackie Davies, LEMONADE WAR Author, Exudes Awesomeness

Please visit Jackie's LEMONADE WAR website. And her author one.
I had the pleasure to see Jackie Davies at our indie book store a few weeks ago. And I have to say that she is a book reading pro. It's hard to captivate young wiggly readers. And yet she did.

Here are some pointers that I took away from her awesomeness:

1. Practice. It was clear to me that Jackie had done this more than a few times. She fielded kid's funny questions without missing a beat. She kept the momentum going. So, if you have to do a book reading, and you've never done one before, I would suggest that you borrow someone's antsy kids, and practice.

2. Show a movie. Kids love the visual. And if you can make books seem like TV, well...

Check out Jackie's book trailers, which I just love. Jackie showed both during her book reading. Fun!

3. Less is more. Instead of reading a chapter straight through, Jackie set the stage, and read passages throughout a few books. It kept the reading to a minimum, and kept the kids wanting more. I've seen kids eyes glaze over when trying to sit still and listen for too long. But not at Jackie's reading.

4. Backstory. Jackie explained why she wrote her books, and the situations that sparked her ideas. This made the kids emotionally involved with books that they hadn't even read yet.

5. Contest. Jackie asked the kids to come up with the name of her next book. This made the kids feel important, and gave them something fun to do.

6. Props. Jackie showed slides of fan mail (so cute!), presented her book trailers, and gave out pamphlets on how to have a lemonade stand, and how justice works. This gave kids something hands on to work with during the presentation.

7. Connect. Not only did Jackie have things of all medium types to interest the kids (who might be auditory, visual or tactile learners), but she stopped to connect by answering questions and fielding comments. Her presentation was short and sweet (15-20 minutes), and totally engaging.

What a pro! There is nothing that my kids like more than meeting an author, and feeling personally involved with the person behind the books. My kids become loyal to that author to the end!

Have you done any book readings? Would you add any tips to the ones I took away from Jackie's book reading and signing? How's everyone doing after this long weekend?


  1. AWESOME! Does she have a recorded version of her visits? I'd love to see.

    I like these details, it sounds like a well-choreographed party!

  2. "always leave them wanting more"
    -- P.T. Barnum

    Great list of advice, Heather. Thanks for passing it along!

    -- Tom

  3. This is a super interesting post. I love your enthusiasm! Thanks for sharing! The tips are super handy.

  4. Thanks for the great tips from Jackie. I'll remember them if I ever get to the book signing stage in my writing.

  5. My spouse has done readings of her children's book at the library and at church. She uses props and asks questions and the whole affair becomes a back and forth participation
    Sometimes she has them act out the story too, which the kids love.

    Check out her newest book at

  6. Great tips! I'm definitely bookmarking this list. :-)

  7. Sounds like a good one. I don't go to too many b/c I'd have to drive a couple hours. Someday...

  8. Oh wow, this is a great post! I'll go to her site after leaving this comment. I just drafted my last post about author visits at schools, and adding her link would be perfect for people to get more ideas. Yes, reading short excerpts works best and props and book trailers, too! I'm so glad you posted this. Thanks!

  9. Heather, I'm going to use your link so people can read about Jackie. I like the way you describe her and her techniques. Her book trailers are awesome! I'm so glad I didn't publish my new post today and came across yours. Ties in perfectly.

  10. Good advice for anyone that has to engage with an audience. Thanks for passing it along!