A Strange Phenomna That Often Happens at a How-to Presentation

Over the years I've given many writing presentations on all sorts of subjects form Self-Editing Tips, Blogging and Blog Tours, Characterization, Setting, Dialogue and most recently e-publishing and Marketing.

What I've seen happen too many times, is someone in the audience who doesn't want to ask a question, but take over the talk and tells what he or she knows about the subject. (Usually it isn't much.) I've not only had this happen to me, but I've seen it happen to other writers who are presenting.

What I don't understand is when someone with credentials has been asked to give a talk on a subject, why the person in the audience isn't eager to learn what the speaker has to offer.

Most recently, after I spoke about the different ways to get published that are available today, a gentlemen stood and started talking about how much he'd paid a vanity press to publish him and how he'd been able to sell a goodly number of books to his friends and others. Of course I was polite and let him talk for a few minutes, but I could see that he wasn't going to stop on his own. I interrupted and continued with my talk, going on to tell all the different ways one could market in-person and on the Net.

Another person later told me that he too had paid a publishing company a huge amount of money to publish him, was not edited, and now had a garage full of books he couldn't sell. This makes me know that the fundamentals of writing and getting published still need to be taught. 

Once I went to a gathering where a really famous mystery author had been invited. She gave her talk, and when it was time for questions, the first person with a hand up started telling about the book she'd written and how could she get it published. The author answered graciously. Fortunately, the rest of the questions pertained to the author and her books.

I have another presentation coming up on June 1 at 7 p.m. in Sedona AZ at the Well Red Coyote Bookstore. My topic is going to be "Write What You Don't Know." It'll be interesting to see what kind of questions that will bring.

Anyone else experienced or seen inappropriate questions from the audience when an author was making a presentation?


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