1: Speeches are scary, but the worst thing that can happen is that they suck, and you laugh about it later. As soon as you're OK with making a fool of yourself, it's much less nerve-wracking, and you can have fun with it.
2: Networking and meeting the organizers of the event is half the fun. These are writers and book lovers who have chosen a career that surrounds literature and art. Not only are they interesting and fun, they are the guys (and girls) you want on your side.
3: No matter how many people show up, what really matters is the support of friends and family.
4: Free doughnuts bring people to an event. Those people may or may not be homeless, and they will probably ask strange questions. Keep bringing doughnuts, and get better at diverting unrelated questions.
5: Listen to advice and ask for criticism. Take it all to heart, and keep improving.