Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Book Clubs

I have found that visiting book clubs as a guest author has been, in a word, fun! It's rewarding to get face-to-face feedback, and the club members have enjoyed getting a sneak peek into the book publishing industry. Invariably, the members are surprised how much work goes into taking a book from inception to completion.

My presentation is divided into two parts. In the first part I talk about the process of writing, editing, and rewriting. I show the club members the galley proofs and the changes I have made to the manuscript after the editing process is supposedly finished. For example, with my latest book (The Return of Cassandra Todd) I made changes right up to the last possible second. I tweak obsessively and finally have to stop reading the manuscript for fear of finding more changes I want to make.

In the second part of my presentation I discuss the book and invite comments and questions. One of the questions I'm often asked is this: How do you know when your manuscript is finally finished? I answer: A famous artist was once asked the same question regarding his paintings, and he replied, "I know a painting is finished when I walk away from it in boredom." I can relate to that.

 How many of you have attended book clubs as a guest author? What has worked well for you? Any suggestions?


Lena Nelson Dooley said...

Yes, Darrel, I've been to book clubs as a guest author, but they didn't have me there when they discussed my book. They just invited me as a guest author/speaker.

I love book clubs and interacting with readers.

Last weekend, I participated in an Authors' High Tea at a library. That was a lot of fun and interaction, too.

I like to connect with readers any way I can.

Martha W. Rogers said...

Two of my best events were with Book Clubs. At one we discussed my book and they asked questions about it and almost all the ladies bought the next book in the series. At the other, I discussed my writing journey and they purchased the book after the meeting. Both were great fun.

Debby Mayne said...

Book clubs are the best! I've attended them a couple of times, and I found them to be gracious and fun. I've also called in to book club meetings long distance and chatted with them over speaker phone.

Darrel Nelson said...

I agree, Lena. It is important to connect with our readers any way we can. Plus the feedback is uplifting, isn't it?

My best events have been book club meetings too, Martha. I love talking about the "behind the scenes"details regarding my books.

I had an opportunity to do a long distance meeting with my daughter's book club, Debby. She lives in Denver and I live in Alberta, Canada. The members enjoyed our long distance discussion.

Jillian Kent said...

Hi Darrel,
I've been invited to a couple book clubs and I loved it. One was at a woman's home who'd heard about my novels through a mutual friend. Lots of good conversation, food, and new friends and readers.

The second was via a local radio talk show host who has monthly meetings to discuss a book and sometimes they invite local authors. That was fun. It wasn't on the radio but it was lots of folks who love books.

I'd love to get to the point where I can Skype from home to interested readers all over the country. Love the picture. Did you feel outnumbered?

Darrel Nelson said...

To be able to Skype to interested readers all over the country would be wonderful, Jillian. Like being in two places at once! And, yes, I did feel outnumbered, but I realized long ago that women are my primary readers, so I'm grateful for their support and feedback.