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It's time for a party!

Jacqueline signing books.
What’s a writer to do? The publishing world is changing at a rate that leaves me feeling breathless and out of control. Indie bookstores have been devastated by a corporate plague and I pray for the survivors. For writers who actually like to do store readings and meet with readers, it is getting harder and harder to find venues.

“How’s the book tour going?” ask friends. “I hear there’s a great bookstore in Austin. Are you going there?” It sounds simple, but unless you can guarantee the bookstore a crowd of friends and family to fill the house, they won’t book you and the publishers are reluctant to spring for the airfare and hotel bills. More often than not, book tours are online events: blog tours, endless Face book postings, Goodreads, etc. “The numbers of readers reached becomes exponential,” say the marketing people. Well, maybe but it sure doesn’t feel all that great.

I have an answer. House Book Parties. A dear friend and fellow writer recently hosted a book party for me in New Jersey and it was a huge hit. She invited 30 people, some of whom were writers from her workshops Women Reading Aloud and some were people who had never met a writer before. It was a fun afternoon, relaxing and entertaining, and a bookstore owner sold boxes of my books (her shop is too small for readings). People felt free to ask lots of questions and no one felt the need to hurry off. I’ve rarely seen such happy faces; people just glad to be together.

So here’s my pitch. Host a House Book Party for your writer friends who have published books that you love. Pick a date and invites a bazillion people or as many who will fit in your house, put out a little food and drink, your writer buddy will read and discuss, sell books and enjoy the heck out of each other. And that, my friends, puts us back in the driver’s seat.
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