Book Talk Nation

Josie Leavitt - December 5, 2011

Several weeks ago the Authors Guild contacted us about participating in a new program called Book Talk Nation, which brings authors to bookstores around the country with one phone call. Last week we hosted the inaugural call with Katherine Paterson, who was being interviewed Tanya Stone.
This program could be genius. Essentially, the sponsoring store, in this case, the Flying Pig, hosts the event, though no one from the store participates. It’s like a massive free conference call, with all the participants calling in from their own home, including the author and the interviewer. Listeners can then buy books from the Book Talk Nation web site designating how they’d like each book to be signed. Then, the bookstore orders the books and the author comes in and signs. The Authors Guild provides mailing labels and the sponsoring store mails out the books.
This deal gets even better, because there’s a chance for other bricks and mortar stores to participate as affiliates thereby earning a commission when one of their customers buys a book through the Book Talk Nation web site. So, picture if you will, 50 people (that’s how many there were for Katherine) from all over the country calling in to hear the author interview. Anyone listening can order a signed book to be mailed to their house; how convenient this is for book lovers and how potentially lucrative for the bookstores. 
Thursday’s event with Katherine sold just over 20 books. Now, this might not sound like a lot, but it’s 20 I wouldn’t have sold otherwise. And it’s an author event where I know exactly how many books to order because they’ve all been pre-ordered. So, imagine how big this could get. 
This is easier than a Skype visit, although a smidge less sexy, but listeners have a chance to ask questions via email. What I love about this program is it’s reminding people that Amazon offers nothing like this. Increasing contact with authors can only help drive business to stores. The fact that all participating stores get a fairly large cut of the purchase price of each book makes it a win-win for all involved.
The next event is tonight through RJ Julia Books and this link will get you there, ready to listen to Judy Blume and get books signed in time for the holidays.

6 thoughts on “Book Talk Nation

    1. Josie Leavitt

      Desperation? Hmm. I wonder exactly what about bringing authors to more people is desperate? It seems to me that getting more people to hear favorite authors is a wonderful idea, nothing desperate about that.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *