Open Mic Night For Self-Published Authors

This post, by John Wilwol, originally appeared on The Washington Post Books site on 1/29/13. It describes a very interesting use of the Espresso Book Machine, in which authors are allowed to read excerpts from their books and listeners can purchase print-on-demand copies immediately.

Since it arrived a year ago at Politics & Prose, “Opus,” Washington’s first print-on-demand Espresso book machine, has helped hundreds of area scribblers realize their publishing dreams. On a gray, biting afternoon Saturday, a dozen of them gathered at the bookstore to delight a standing-room-only audience with selections from their work. It was the first-ever Opus open mike [sic].

Picked by a lottery open to all Opus authors, the diverse group brought poems, novels, memoirs and biographies. Before the writers came to the lectern, marketing director Lacey Dunham — timecards in hand — warned them not to break the five-minute limit: “I used to be a teacher!”

Joseph T. Wilkins, dressed in a red tie, white shirt and blue blazer, kicked things off with a lively introduction to “The Speaker Who Locked Up the House,” his historical novel about late-19th-century House Speaker Thomas Brackett Reed. “It’s a fat sucker,” he said of the book. “If you like history, you’ll like this.” A former municipal judge, Wilkins lives outside Atlantic City and comes to the District regularly for research. When he heard about Opus, he said, he was “fascinated by it.”

Read the rest of the post on The Washington Post Books site. Note – you’ll need to scroll down, an ad cuts the article in half right in the middle.

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