January 31, 2014
You do not need to spend $750 to bring an author to your book club
by Kirsten Reach
Alexandra Styron and a handful of other famous writers are meeting with book clubs, and The New York Times is on it. They reported that Book the Writer gives about $400 of the fee to the writer and keeps $350.
Hi, book clubs. Let’s say you’re not on Central Park West. That’s terrific! Did I mention you look beautiful? Break out that Pinot Grigio, because there’s something we should talk about.
There are other ways to meet with an author:
- Go to a reading. If the author is living, chances are that the author will be there in person! You can buy the book from the cute bookseller who will probably even throw in a bookmark. The author probably has author-friends, and they’ll be there, too. What, you’re sitting behind Sharon Olds? Quick, take a picture of the back of her head.
- Read books by authors in your town. Then write the author or her publicist via email to see if she’s willing to talk to you.
- Choose titles that aren’t on the bestseller list. Authors from small presses are especially good, not that we’re partial or anything. Then write to see if the author will tour near your area. She may be open to attending your book club.
- Write to a writer who lives far away just to see if she’ll be in your area sometime soon. This might work! Give it a shot.
- Check for any upcoming Skype conversations with your author of choice.
Stalk your author.OK, I don’t want to be responsible for this one. I take it back.
I know we’re all looking for new ways to connect with readers in this wacky age of publishing, but there must be more reasonable ways to feel connected without spending a lot of money for two hours in your living room with someone book-famous.
Kirsten Reach is an editor at Melville House.