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Sunday, September 03, 2006

Readers Groups by Janice Lynn

With only one book beneath my belt, I'm still learning lots about the 'right' way to do things & am unfortunately learning the hard way on the 'wrong' way to do things. A comment on my blog (thanks Colleen!) got me to wondering what other folks do when going to a readers group meeting that's to discuss YOUR book.

I live in a small town and didn't even know there were any readers groups. The closest bookstore is a town over (although we do have a Wal-mart--what small southern town doesn't, right?) and I made some erroneous assumptions. There are readers groups. Small, informal ones that meet in members houses where they share dessert and their views on that month's chosen read. During October JANE MILLIONAIRE is being read by a local readers group & I've been asked to come share thoughts with them & to participate in their discussion.

So, what types of things do other authors do at small, informal readers group meetings? For that matter, what do other authors do for large gatherings?

I've done one large group via a library & that was fun. There were approximately 25 people there and I gave a talk & then we had an informal Q & A. The library provided drinks and snacks. In my talk, I covered basics like an intro to me & how I started writing, how I came up with the idea for JANE MILLIONAIRE (thanks Kimmi for hanging up on me to go watch reality television shows!), a bit about how I became published & the American Title contest, then a bit about the story itself. After that it opened up to questions. What kind of questions were asked? My favorite scene? The hardest scene to write.? How recieved locally? What did my kids think? Sequels? Anything else in the works? How did I get an agent? What would I do different? Is the story based on my life? (Yes, when no one was looking I was on that reality television show & the hunky producer fell madly in love with me & gave me the best sex of my life. Shhhhh, nobody tell my hubby. ;)

JANE MILLIONAIRE was also chosen as the read for several readers groups that were too far away for me to physically participate in, but I did *attend* one of the meetings via phone where I answered questions. For one of the groups I sent bonus material (you know, like on a DVD after you watch the movie & want to know/see more.). Deleted scenes. Alternate endings. A sneak peek to the sequel. How the story came about. A couple of articles on me & the American Title contest. Etc. I had lots of fun putting it together and my contact at the bookstore told me she'd never done anything like that before and the readers group loved it.

What about the rest of you who've done or gone to readers groups? Any particular one stand out in your mind? Anything different that really seemed to work well? Any that was particularly fun?


At 10:56 PM, Blogger Diane Perkins said...

I did one in Delaware that was a lot of fun. About 8 people. I talked a bit about how I sold and just answered questions.
I did another one at Side Street Books in Long Island that included more than just the bookstore reading group. I really had a terrific time there. Again, I just told my story and answered questions. But they were soooo nice there!

At 8:33 PM, Blogger Kiki, aka Esri said...

This is fascinating! I've never been to a readers' group. Now I know people who have had their books featured!

Your "bonus materials" sound great, Janice.


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