I had never attended a book reading/signing when I was invited to the Chinese Historical Society Museum in San Francisco in 2005. It was rewarding because some many audience members reported sharing some similar experiences to mine. After this first event, I decided to stop "reading" verbatim because I could achieve more eye contact and interest with the audience by speaking off the cuff, aided usually by some visuals shown with Powerpoint.
One thing I learned from this event was that one thing often opens the door to another opportunity. For example, the press releases from the Museum caught the attention of Rosy Chu who interviewed people on her tv show and she invited me to her program. I was hesitant at first, never having been on tv before, but decided that it would be an interesting and worthwhile experience.... which it was, and gave me more confidence and exposure in making presentations about Southern Fried Rice.