Why You Want to Read Your Book Out Loud

Austrian writer Anna Kim reading from her book...

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Read your book out loud before you query literary agents and publishers. This is a good way to ‘hear’ if your book is ready for publishing. In fact, you may want to give your book to a trusted confidant and have them read your book out loud. Ask them for feedback such as:

1. Does my writing make sense?
2. How did my book ‘sound’ to you?
3. What can I do to improve the quality of my writing
4. Did you receive the message loud and clear?
5. How does my story flow?
6. What could make it stronger?

Answering these and other questions will ensure your book is spot on before it reaches the desk of agents and publishers.

Reading your book aloud is a great way to gain confidence to speak in public. If you’re terrified of speaking in public, reading your book aloud in front of the mirror or a small group will help you squash your fear. It’s a fantastic way to count the number of times you say words like “um and ah.” It’s all right to have a few “ums” (makes you more approachable) but don’t overdo it. Also, you’ll be able to hear and adjust for pauses within your writing.

Many children’s authors sometimes read a few pages from their books to children. To be 100% confident children will understand the flow of your story and characters, read it out loud to the kids in your life or volunteer to read to kids at the library. Reading your book aloud will help you make necessary changes to ensure your target audience gets the message loud and clear.

As a writer, you’ve worked countless hours on your book and have been stuck in your head. Reading your book aloud is a great way to get out of your head and into your body. If your writing is a work of fiction, you can connect with your characters by lending them your voice. Read dialogue and scenes and ask yourself, “Would he/she say that?” Perhaps character traits, dialogue, and scenes require fine tuning.

Don’t be afraid to read your book out loud. If you don’t belong to a writing group, join one and read your book. Ask for constructive feedback on character and scene development, dialogue, grammar and punctuation, and flow of the story. Whether or not you use the feedback is up to you. However, reading your book aloud to your target audience is a good way to know if your story will sell. Remember, publishing is a business. Agents and publishers want stories that sell. Reading your book out loud will help you determine if your story is ready.

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