Saturday, January 10, 2009

Book Clubs and Author Visits

Did you know that there is a growing phenomenon of authors who are visiting book groups to participate in discussions of their books? I think that this is an amazing way for authors and readers to connect. What can be better than to read a book and then have the opportunity to discuss the book with friends in your book club and talk to the author in person or via speakerphone?!

Check out this article from the Philadelphia Enquirer about Joshua Henkin, author of Matrimony, it's called Author, Your Group is Calling. It talks about how Joshua Henkin has met with over 80 book groups in person or by phone. So, if you want to have an author chat with your book club definitely consider contacting Mr. Henkin.

This is one of my goals for the coming year, to have an author chat with my book club. I would love to hear what your experiences have been with author chats. So, please comment and share them with us.


  1. I have no experience with author visits but I have to say the book club I belonged to did everything but discuss the book. So I quit. I believe you are lucky if you have a group that actually discusses books instead of chitchatting about anything and everything else.

  2. We had a local author come to a meeting once and it was a nightmare. She began to read from her new novel and it was an erotic novel that was very explicit and it was extremely uncomfortable when the giggles started. I had to excuse myself and leave the room.

    If we ever did that again, we would have to approve any readings ahead of time because the element of surprise was too much.

  3. Oh my.. Bonnie first of all.. My online group is going to have Kate Jacobs come to our online chat on February 3rd to discuss Knit Two. We can't wait...

    But I am still snickering at Ti's comment. :)

  4. I think book groups will be seeing a lot more of this phenonomenon (sp?) With the publishing world in a flux, the authors will be out in force to spread the good word (yeah, I know...) and help sell books. Not that this is a bad thing. I love meeting authors and hear their words and answer questions up close and personal.

    I nominated you for a Lemonade Award for the bright attitude you have in your blog!

  5. Every month we have an author either visit our bookclub or we have a telephone interview. This month Richard Russo is having a telephone interview with us!

  6. I've had a phone visit with India Edghill, and might be setting one up for our meeting this week. I need to check on some things...

    Of course, I'd be glad to drop in to a book club to talk about my Demo Tapes. In fact, to me, that's a sign of success!

  7. OOOOHHHH, that sounds exciting. I would love for an author to visit a book club around here. I've met a few children's authors through my work and that was pretty thrilling.

  8. Thanks for the great comments! I love to hear about other book clubs.

    Candy-Sorry to hear about your book club experience, that does sound frustrating. My book club had to address that as we were getting pretty chatty. We worked out a time that we chat, eat snacks and drink wine about a half hour before we discuss the book and then during dessert afterwards.
    I think that some people join a book club for social reasons and not that they are true book readers. I hope that you can find a book club that is focused on books!

    Ti-OMG, You had me lauging with your story!! I know that it had to be uncomfortable but I hope that you can look back and laugh about it now!

    Toni-Lucky you, having Kate Jacobs
    visit your group! I hope that you blog about it.

    Vickie-I think that you're right that more authors will most likely be connecting to their readers with the publishing changes. I think that is a good thing also as it connects readers and authors.
    Thanks for the award!

    Sherri-That's amazing that you have an author visit or phone interview with your book club. I don't know that I would want to have that at every book club though. I'll be looking forward to hearing how your chat with Russo goes and hope that you blog about it.

    Susan-I just googled India Edghill as I hadn't heard of her. Her books look very interesting. I've now added another author to keep an eye out for, thanks! I hadn't realized that you wrote a book either and I will definitely be checking that out!

    Staci-That must have been interesting to meet the children's

  9. I belonged to a mystery book club for a while, and on my very first visit, Richard Montanari stopped by to talk about his book, The Rosary Girls. Made for a really interesting discussion, especially since he was gracious enough to step away and let us talk about the book out of his earshot for a bit. It's definitely an enhancement to a meeting.


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