Last weekend I had a lot of fun (and a little stress, let’s be honest) being part of a presentation at the annual conference for NELA (New England Library Association). Four of us talked in general about the process of booktalking and then took turns presenting one-minute booktalks.
People in the audience asked if we had our booktalks online somewhere, and I figured maybe I should take another stab at this blog. I mean, I type up my booktalks for myself, so I might as well put them up here, too.
Booktalks are different from reviews. They’re not evaluations, they’re sales tools. You’re trying to sell these books to your audience, whether one-on-one in the stacks, in a classroom, while doing outreach, or at a library program. They’re meant to be heard, not read, so they’re written differently. I use repetition a lot, and the style is much more conversational. Occasionally I’ll do comparisons to other books/movies/TV, but that gets old quickly so use it sparingly.
I don’t talk about how much I love a book because presumably I’m not going to be booktalking/recommending a book I didn’t like. I will admit to booktalking books I haven’t finished reading, but I’ve read enough of the book and about the book to have a really good handle on it and be confident talking about it.
I work hard on polishing booktalks for an official presentation. The nice thing is that the echoes are still floating around in my head when I’m doing random readers advisory in the stacks, so there are always residual benefits to putting together booktalks.
–Lisa, Teen Librarian