Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Book Club Appearances

Untitled. by Bernard Boutet de Monvel ,French, 1881-1949 This evening I’m speaking to a local book club. I know writers who do quite a few book club appearances, but I’ve only spoken to a few.

Galen Kindley wrote a great blog post with some really useful book club tips which I’m linking to. The link is a cached page since Galen’s original post was accidentally erased.

His tips included having a prize drawing for the members (bookstore gift card, e.g.), bringing prepared topics and questions as conversation-starters, and watching for signs the book club members’ attention might be drifting.

I’m going to use Galen’s suggestions tonight, and I’ve also made a list of observations from my last book club appearance and how I’ve tweaked my preparation, in response, for this one:

The members had read the book more recently than I had. I’ve read my book again. Otherwise, it’s too easy to get confused with the two books I’m writing now.

The members were interested in the books that I’ve read and who inspires me. I have a handout that lists my favorite books and authors.

Book club meetings can become really lively. We might not always be in on the members’ jokes. It’s okay to just smile. I won’t be in any hurry to break into their conversations.

The questions I get from book clubs are different from the questions I get from writers. (I receive more questions about the book’s characters—are they based on real people? What do those people think of my books? etc). I’m prepared to talk more in depth about my characters and their motivations. I’m also prepared to talk about small plot points in the book.

Some of the book club questions are not different from questions I get from writers. (How many hours a day do you write? How long did it take for you to get published? How long does it take you to write a book?) Luckily, I’m very accustomed to getting writing process questions. I’m ready for them!

Book clubs are fun for me. I enjoy being around other readers and love the fact they’ve selected my book for their club. In fact, Pretty is as Pretty Dies even features a book club in the novel. I’m looking forward to my appearance this evening…and feel that this time I’m better prepared than my previous appearance.