ON WRITING

“It’s very easy to quit during the first ten years of writing. Nobody cares whether you write or not, and it’s very hard to write when nobody cares one way or the other. You can’t get fired if you don’t write, and most of the time you don’t get rewarded if you do. But don’t quit.” Andre Dubus

Monday, 22 February 2016

GREETINGS FROM THE “DON’T YOU HATE BOOK TOURS?” Book Tour!

Today I'm taking a 'sickie' as we call it in Australia, so I invited my long-time blogger friend and prolific author, Roland Yeomans to help out. Roland just happens to have a new book out...what a surprise! So being addicted as I am to the Reader Discussion pages at the end of novels, I asked Roland to talk about this new addition to his latest...


Anyway, I've got to be going...Here's Roland to entertain you.


Whoa!  Look at all those rolling eyes out there.  It’s worse than the audience to the last Presidential Debate.

I understand. 

It seems we are drowning in a sea of cover reveals, book tours, and guest posts.

Ah, forget I said that last one, will you?

Anyway, since my latest book has a Readers’ Discussion Guide at the end, Denise thought you might be interested in why I included that section.

www.taftpubliclibrary.org

By some estimates, Tweet: five million Americans gather in someone’s living room, a bar, a bookstore or local library for a #bookdiscussion on the finer points of “Middlemarch” or “The Brothers Karamazov.” (If you find this interesting, please TWEET).

They are always on the lookout for a new book that will make club discussions easier. Libraries often stock these books on request as a service to book clubs, which means more SALES!! (((happy dance)))

Tweet: As #writers we need to reach #READERS(If you find this interesting, please TWEET).
We have been fishing in our little pool and wondering why our catch is so lousy.  Go where the fish are!

And it’s not just a big-city thing:

In the event that you find yourself in Waco, Texas., check out “A Good Book and a Glass of Wine,” which has 21 members (women only) and is always looking for new ones. All you have to do is go online to source one near you!

I have written a novel which includes a variety of strong women: thinkers, inventors, newspaper correspondents, leaders – all believing they are right but some are very, very wrong.

Since we live in a world where you don’t have to actually “be” anywhere, it’s not surprising that virtual clubs have lately appeared on the Internet.

ZolaBooks bills itself as a “social eBook retailer” that connects readers. 

Goodreads gives members the opportunity to read a book together, install books they’ve read on their “shelves” or find “friends” with whom to share discoveries.

But the most prevalent way of conducting a book club is still in someone’s living room.

A book club meeting is a way of interacting through books that you don’t get through any ordinary transaction in life.

It’s like sitting around the campfire toasting marshmallows, gossiping about people, only you’re gossiping about characters in fiction, which is more meaningful and won't give you indigesion.

HELLO!  ANYONE STILL LISTENING OUT THERE? 

Here are our readers waiting for us to be discussion friendly. So how about I share my foray into the Novel Study Guide...

HOW DO YOU WRITE QUESTIONS FOR YOUR OWN NOVEL’S STUDY GUIDE?

THINK THEME.
Beyond the events of the plot, what is your book about?

MUSE YOUR CHARACTERS’ JOURNEYS
What do your characters learn along the way? How do they change and grow because of the events of the story?

PONDER THE PLOT
Rehashing the events of a book does not a book club make. They’ve all read it. How else might the events play out? How did the plot events affect the characters, and the readers?

CONSIDER YOUR CHARACTERS
What are their attributes and flaws? How are they like—or unlike—people around you? How do their flaws affect the story?

ASK OPEN ENDED QUESTIONS THAT DO NOT HAVE WRONG ANSWERS

Oh, what about my own study guide for … wait for it …



A few teasers …

- Did you know that in 1998 that 200 year old skeletons of four adults and six children were found buried beneath the home that Benjamin Franklin lived in while in London?  Was Franklin a serial killer?

- How much do we really know of history?  Are there secrets in the lives of our Founding Fathers?
Franklin was a member of the infamous Hellfire Club while in London.  Was he there as a spy or a participating member?

- In the mid and late 19th century, women were exploring where even white men feared to go.  Ada Byron Lovelace invented the first computer language 100 years before the invention of the computer.

- Margaret Fuller, first American woman foreign correspondent for Horace Greely, manned the ramparts during the bloody Italian Civil War.

- What lessons can we draw from the feminist pioneers?

- In 1858 designs were drawn up for an air/steamship.  How different would our history have been if we had achieved transatlantic flight so early?

- Abraham Lincoln engaged in ethnic cleansing of Apache, Navaho, and Dakota Indians during the Civil War.  General Sherman ordered the killing of women and children in Georgia (from his own orders to his officers). 

- How much collateral damage is acceptable in war do you think?  And is targeting non-combatant civilians ever acceptable?

- We have fun musing in my study guide for THE NOT-SO-INNOCENTS ABROAD.

Board the Xanadu, the first Air/Steamship when it sets sail in March for an adventure of a lifetime.  Passage is only $9.99!

See you there.


Thanks Roland for saving me! (I've been travelling for the past month and needed a helping hand). Roland has been a loyal participant in RomanticFridayWriters and now Write...Edit...Publish since its inception. This week we announce the winners of the WEP Valentine's Day challenge, judged by my original partner for RomanticFridayWriters, Francine Howarth, now a prolific Regency Romance author. 





42 comments:

  1. I never thought about putting a study guide in any of my books. Clever idea, Roland!

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    1. Thanks, Alex! I'm always trying to, not only think outside the box, but enlarge its dimensions! :-)

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  2. Hi Denise and Roland - yes ... a study guide would be interesting to have available. When I got out Jamaica Inn from the library - I was surprised to see the book had an 'introduction' - which gave some idea about the book, its content, and the characters ... certainly it helped ... and as I just travelled the area I could see some of the places and imagine the mists etc on Bodmin Moor.

    So adding those extras into a book makes perfect sense ... if they fit the culture .. cheers Hilary

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    1. Anything to make reading my book a more enjoyable experience. It adds to my book as you realize that history hold secrets than you realized.

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  3. Our library runs a number or book discussion groups and there are a few private ones that I know of. They are great ideas. Congrats to Roland. I never heard that story about Ben Franklin's place in London.

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    1. Yes, there are rumors about his time in Paris, too. Abigail Adams wrote: "I have met many great men; none of them were good." Makes you think.

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  4. I don't roll my eyes at guest posts or blog tours, because I host them and do them. They are essential. :)

    I think it's neat you have a discussion guide at the end of your book. One day, I'd like to write a book that requires that. :)

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    1. My book doesn't "require" it. The guide just makes reading it more revealing and enjoyable to talk over with others.

      Congrats on your partnership with L. Diane Wolfe!

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  5. I don't roll my eyes at guest posts or blog tours, because I host them and do them. They are essential. :)

    I think it's neat you have a discussion guide at the end of your book. One day, I'd like to write a book that requires that. :)

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  6. Study Guides are great for teachers. My publisher put one out for my debut book and teachers have said they appreciated it. I have to admit that after writing "congratulation on your book" the hundredth time, I get weary, but this is the way authors have to telling their potential readers they have a book for them. I guess that's part of the promo game.

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    1. Yes, I hate that aspect of a book tour. But I try to make each post fun, enjoyable, and educational. And don't we all want "Congrats On Your New Book" written to us?

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  7. Book clubs can be so hard to find though.

    That's a good move to have the study guide within the book. I have them available for my series, but they aren't actually included with the book.

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    1. Being inside the book, the guide is my free gift to my readers -- lagniappe we call it down in Louisiana. I also I have a free complete short story of 3 of my characters some 64 years in the future -- another piece of Lagniappe for my friends. :-)

      Goodreads has its own version of a book club. And Google is a fine source to find a book club in your area.

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  8. I agree with L. Diane above. Sometimes book clubs can be difficult to find. It is a good idea to have a open-ended questions at the back of the book for these stir the thoughts and help book clubs greatly to delve deeper into the text. I'm on the blog hop with C. Lee McKenzie, et al. I like your blog, Denise. I'll join the blog, too.

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    1. Victoria, as I said above Goodreads has a form of book club discussions. Google is a great source of finding a book club in your area. Most libraries in most cities have them. Thanks for liking Denise's blog. It is a great blog, isn't it?

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    2. Thank you Victoria. I will visit your blog soon.

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  9. I guess some people like study guides, and book groups, but I'm not one of them. I like epilogues and prologues better. I don't read the most popular books, so the choices selected by such groups don't usually interest me. My critique partner had the same experience in a group in Florida from which she dropped out. I haven't heard of too many 'scifi' groups like that and would find it interesting to know which genres are usually the choice for such groups. Nice to see you here, Roland, even if I have a dissenting opinion. Your book looks interesting to me without the extra added addition. But, hey, there's an audience out there who does. Thanks Denise for having Roland here to have a 'not a book tour' book tour!

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    1. I encourage folks to dissent. That is how I learn. :-) I thought if only ten book clubs chose my book because I made discussions of it easier, then I have enlarged my audience -- and who knows? Some of the members might try my other titles. Hey, it could happen.

      Good seeing you here. And wasn't Denise nice to do this for me?

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    2. Thanks for visiting DG. It is always a pleasure to host a long-time blogger friend.

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  10. Roland, thanks for coming by regularly and answering comments. It's great to have you here.

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    1. It was great to be here. You were a gracious and kind hostess! :-)

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  11. Hi Denise and Roland
    An interesting idea to include questions for a book club. Good luck with your book, Roland.
    Nancy

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    1. I try to think of new way to appeal to new readers. I'm glad you liked the idea, Nancy. :-)

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    2. Hi Nancy! Thanks for coming by!

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  12. What an interesting-creepy story about Ben Franklin! How much do we know of history? Only what certain groups of people (the historians, the archaeologists, the press, the people setting the syllabus in schools) deem fit to make public. Add to that the many cultures which aren't free and history becomes a shot in the dark at best, a matter of interpretation by a few for many. And it's just propaganda at worst, so called facts twisted and presented to suit particular interest groups.

    As a writer it's a neat concept to include study guidelines at the end of books, probably helps in planning too. As a reader though (who has mostly not been part of book clubs), I crave the books I crave, study questions or no :) I don't think a guide would affect my decision to read/buy or not.

    Congrats and best of luck with the new book, it sounds riveting!

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    1. Yes, in researching this book, I found out some dark facts about Lincoln that saddened me. :-(

      With my study guide, I also included links to the music that played in two different spots in my novel, hopefully helping add depth to those scenes.

      The Study Guide questions were to hopefully enlarge the audience for my book to include those who belong to book clubs. :-)

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  13. As a reader I like study guides added to a book. Sometimes it gives me a new perspective on the book I hadn't thought about.

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    1. I'm glad to hear that. I hoped to do just that with my Study Guide. :-)

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  14. I don't often read the questions at the end or study guides unless I found the book exceptional. But also, I don't usually discuss books with folks anymore - just write up a quick review as to how I did or didn't like it. So I don't know if I'd ever write a study guide myself. Interesting to think about, though.

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    1. My Study Guide also had two links to music that played during two pivotal scenes. That I hope will add to the enjoyment of the book. Thanks for visiting here. :-)

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  15. I spend more time discussing manuscripts with people than books. LOL! I did love all your teasers Roland!

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    1. I'm glad you liked those teasers. It makes me feel as if my work wasn't in vain. :-)

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  16. Study guides make me think school and work. I think it needs a better name.

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    1. Think Gossip about book characters you and others love! :-)

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  17. I'm still terrified of book clubs. Truth. There was one that picked up my debut novel when it was on Netgalley (aka, they got it free) and the leader was a hater. (Her goodreads name even said she was a hater.) Truthfully, a book one person loves is not the book for another person. So what happened? One reviewer influenced a whole group. One member of the group admitted to having not read the book in her review, but based on her group's response, she was giving it a 1 star rating. I just scratched my head and there went my desire to find book clubs. (FYI, Netgalley is populated with people who feel the pressure to review a book just because their ratings will drop if they don't, even if it wasn't something they liked.) Rant over.

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    1. Frankly, Goodreads is so snarky that I little care what they say of my book. It is like having Hitler say he didn't like my book.

      I am talking at home, at library, at college student lounges Book Clubs.

      The internet lures cowards to attack from the shadows. The jackals may bark, but the lion walks confidently on. :-)

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  18. It's an interesting concept, but I'm not sure it'd work for a murder mystery.
    Good luck with tour!
    I sure hope they aren't out of style - I've got one coming up! :)

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    1. I bought an annotated Sherlock Holmes text because of the fascinating details explained from each mystery. You could delve in police procedure, the history of the city where the murder takes place, the psychology of murderers vs the common personalities of most victims. Ask the reader can they see murder traits within themselves, victim traits?

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  19. Thank You, Denise, for having me. It was great fun!

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    1. You're most welcome Roland. Call again.

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  20. You might be eligible to get a $1,000 Amazon Gift Card.

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    right away...

    (VIDEO) Why your ex will NEVER get back...

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