What to expect when you're the guest author at a book club

This week I had the best experience ever--I was the guest of honour at a book club to discuss my book! The book club members have been meeting every month for the past six years and this was the first time they'd ever had an author visit. They were thrilled, as was I, and we drank and talked and ate for over three hours! It was such a great evening spent with 8 interesting women who loved to read. However, over the course of the night, I was completely surprised at what they actually wanted to know from me...

I arrived at the book club prepared, I thought, with reading questions, fun examples of the research materials I'd used in writing the book, a quiz, and of course, a hostess gift (i.e. wine)!  But as the evening progressed, I was surprised at the actual things that people were interested in. Here's what they wanted to know.

Questions You'll Likely Receive During a Guest Appearance at a Book Club

- How do you write a book? How do you write chapters and figure out the ending, and how do you come up with characters?

- How did you get your book into Chapters bookstore? How does that happen?

- Did you write an alternate ending? If so, what was it?

- How do you publish a book?

- How do you chose the font inside the book? How do you chose the cover design? What is a stock photo? How did you find your cover designer? 

- Is the book setting real?

- What does an editor do? How did you find your editor?

- What is the role of libraries in book discovery? 

- How do you make an ebook? How do you sell it online?

Needless to say, I truly felt like a guest of honour and had a fantastic time sharing my knowledge with the book club ladies. Even though I had prepared to talk about the book and the characters, I ended up spending most of the evening talking about how to write and publish a book, which I think is a wonderment to so many people. And I can still remember how it was a mystery to me, too, not so long ago. I have always felt that bringing a book from concept to reality and seeing it on a bookstore shelf was a truly amazing thing, and now I know that there are lots of readers out there who feel the same way, too!

Onward and upward, y'all.

Stacey D. Atkinson is the author of the newly released novel Stuck, which she published via her independent company Mirror Image Publishing.


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