Actually, I had never even been to a book reading in person so I wasn't really sure what was expected. Just reading to an audience seems boring until you can emote like Richard Burton. I settled on reading of a few passages verbatim, since I assumed one goal was to give the audience samples of your writing, augmented by some extemporaneous commentary. I used visuals from the book to provide background and generate interest. Fortunately, interest in the story of our life in the South was strong and the audience was receptive. However, I decided that at future 'readings,' I would mainly talk about the book and explain how it came to be, describe its purpose and its impact on me as well as on readers rather than read straight from the text.
Book Talk at Chinese Historical Society Museum, San Francisco, 2006
Once I published Southern Fried Rice I then had to find ways to promote its sales on my own since I was self-publishing the memoir. I sought venues where its intended audience might be more likely to found than at your big box bookstore. One of my first choices was the Chinese Historical Society of America (CHSA) Museum in San Francisco. My original goal had been to see if they would stock some copies of my book on consignment so that I could test the market for my book. To my surprise and joy, CHSA not only purchased some copies outright but also invited me to do a book reading and signing.