By Miriam Raftery
Photo: Spirng Valley novelist Kate Quinn, New York Times best-selling author of The Alice Network, will be among the writers at event
May 8, 2018 (San Diego) -- With more bricks and mortar booksellers closing their doors, authors are getting creative about marketing their books. Making “house calls” to book clubs is not just a way to sell more books, though. It’s a great way to connect with readers who want meaningful discussion with their favorite authors.
That’s why San Diego resident Susan McBeth is launching NovelNetwork™, the first-ever national registry of authors and book clubs looking to connect. A kick-off event will be held at the San Diego Central Library, 9th floor in the central events room on June 10th from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
McBeth will kick off her new venture at the event, where readers can “speed date” authors, attend engaging panel discussions, and schedule book club visits. Lunch with a keynote speaker is included as well as several opportunities to win prizes that will delight any bibliophile.
In attendance will be more than 20 authors, including international bestsellers Jenna Blum (Those Who Save Us), Kate Quinn (The Alice Network), and Janelle Brown (All We Ever Wanted Was Everything), as well as Kate Quinn of East County, and New York Times best-selling author of The Alice Network
Through McBeth’s innovative NovelNetwork™ registry, book clubs can opt for an in-home visit with authors who live in (or are visiting) their cities. For example, San Diego residents may schedule book clubs visits with local bestsellers, such as Michelle Gable (A Paris Apartment), Susan Meissner (Secrets of a Charmed Life), or Kathi Diamant (Kafka’s Last Love). Or book clubs may arrange a Skype visit with authors who live out of the area.
Novel Network boasts an impressive list of authors from Boston to Alaska, with the majority based in San Diego, Los Angeles, San Francisco, and Seattle. “And we’re just getting started,” says McBeth.
McBeth says she’s not surprised that the concept is taking off. “What reader wouldn’t enjoy a thoughtful, provocative discussion with their favorite authors over a bottle of wine in the comfort of their own home?” McBeth says. “Can you imagine going to a movie, then having the director come to your home and directly answering your questions about why she made certain choices for characters, how she came up with a plot twist, or what she’s working on next? How much more would you get from that movie?”
McBeth is no stranger to the literary world. After managing events at a local independent bookseller for many years, she saw a need for more engaging interactions with authors outside of traditional venues. She started Adventures by the Book®, which hosts “multi sensorial” events and travel aimed at connecting authors and readers more intimately than traditional book signing events. McBeth has taken dozens of groups as far as Thailand, France, and Germany, and as nearby as Quail Aviary in Encinitas, La Parfait Paris downtown, and Queen Mary ocean liner in Long Beach. Mc Beth also created a “Weekend at Tiffany” event with Marjorie Hart and the late Susan Vreeland, weekend at the historic Mission Inn, Riverside.
In fact, it was an author visiting San Diego on her book tour who sparked the McBeth’s idea for NovelNetwork™.
Adventures by the Book® hosted an event for Jenna Blum, NYT and international bestselling author of Those Who Save Us. Blum shared with McBeth that she had visited 800 book clubs in the Boston area alone in one year.
Blum credits these book club visits for her ascent from debut novelist to bestseller, and plans to similarly engage with readers once her new novel The Lost Family is released this June.
Blum explains “It’s such a privilege to hear people talking about your work and be able to provide behind-the-scenes answers to their questions. And readers’ perspectives and comments are inspiring to me as I write more books.”
McBeth spent three years developing NovelNetwork™ and looks forward to officially launching it on June 10. “After thoroughly researching best ways to enhance the connection between authors and readers, I am very proud of this brand new service we are able to provide.”