Tag Archives: Book Club Buddy

This week’s roundup of interesting articles, blogs, news, and great writing by talented authors!

On Bookstores and Bookselling
The novel resurgence of independent bookstores

On Book Clubs
Book Club Invitations: More Spice Please
She Reads, a national online book club that advocates women’s literacy – wouldn’t it be great if we were to organize a book club like this in Canada? Hmmm …

On Writing
In defense of purposeless writing
5 Ways To Try A New Writing Style
What Can a Poet Say to a Fiction Writer About Writing? by Calgary poet, Bob Stallworthy
Secrets of popular writers

The Best of the Blogs
Seth Godin: Building your backlist (and living with it forever) – writers and bloggers, please take particular note …
Nathan Bransford: The #ThankAWriter Project – of interest to readers, and this topic is in need of a separate blog. I think this is a great idea!
Writer Unboxed: Give and Get by Kimberley Brock – on She Reads, a national online book club that advocates women’s literacy

On Canadian Authors and Publishers
Canadian authors: Really big … just not in Canada
What Went Wrong for Canada’s D&M Publishers

For Readers
Bonnet Rippers: The Rise of the Amish Romance Novel
Yet Another Love Affair from Rachel Small on her love of reading
And a couple of great writers I’d like to give a shout out …
Carrie Mumford‘s published short story, Breath
And Rick Mallery’s blog that I recently discovered. I really enjoy Rick’s writing and have been following his Power Shorts Daily, some of which have been brilliant! I also look forward to reading his novel Becomes the Happy Man that Rick offered as a free download on his blog.

Fun stuff!
50 Common Misconceptions Debunked – video
16 Fancy Gifts For Book Nerds
50 Reasons You Should Be a Bookworm

2012 – A Year of Alberta Books Canada Literary Salons

Since Nov. 2011, Alberta Books Canada hosted a series of literary salons in Calgary that brought together readers with Alberta authors in the intimate setting of a private home for readings and discussions about books and writing. Now that this series has come to an end, I wanted to recap all the salons and share with everyone a list of the authors who took part.

What made these salons different from the usual readings in bookstores and libraries, besides being held in private homes, is that they were based on the model of music house parties where the audience is charged an admission fee and all money collected is paid to the artists. My intention in setting up the salons in this way was so the authors would receive payment for having entertained us, and the audience would realize they should not expect authors to perform for free. After all, the amount any author receives from the royalties of book sales is a mere pittance. We need to show our appreciation for their work in more ways than just by buying a copy of their book – although that does help. As one author said when asked how much she made from each book: “I’m lucky to see a dollar, if that.” And we all know that a book published in Canada these days is considered as selling well if it passes 500 copies. 200 copies for poetry.

We experimented with Skype at a couple of these salons, with audience members able to attend and participate from a distance. Pearl Luke of Book Club Buddy took an active part during one discussion while still in her Thailand home. I also read from, and sold (through the cooperation of Monkeyshines), my new eBook that was not yet available in print at that time. At one salon, two of the authors showed videos they had created. And we invited two musicians to join the authors at two other salons and play some of their own music.

Thanks to everyone who was involved in this series. To Sue Hill of Monkeyshines Children’s Books for selling books at each of the salons, and to all the hosts who graciously opened their homes to us so we could enjoy these get-togethers in the true fashion of a traditional European artistic salon.

But a special thanks to Anne Sorbie for creating and publishing limited edition chapbooks that offered a commemorative collection of writing by the authors involved in each of the salons.

And a huge THANK YOU to our very dedicated audience (some of you attended every salon we offered!!) for being so attentive, for buying the books, and for reading! And, as well, to all the authors who participated. We could not have done any of this without your fine writing and generosity in sharing that writing with us!

Nov. 29, 2011

Betty Jane Hegerat
Lori Hahnel
Rosemary Griebel
Bob Stallworthy

Dec. 14, 2011

Aritha van Herk
Anne Sorbie
Gordon Sombrowski
Tom Phillips, singer/songwriter

Jan. 18, 2012 – Current and former Calgary Distinguished Writers’ Program Writers-In-Residence

Jeramy Dodds
Rosemary Nixon
Marcello Di Cintio
Richard Harrison

Mar. 27, 2012Self: No longer a four-letter word

Claudette Brown
Derek Donais
Collin Paulson
Susan M. Toy
Andrew Riches, musician

June 13, 2012 – New offerings by established authors

Barb Howard
Maureen Bush
Steve Owad
Weyman Chan

Sept. 30, 2012 – Mentors and Mentoring

Barb Howard and Sudhir Jain
Betty Jane Hegerat and Ali Bryan
Discussion led by Robyn Read and Pearl Luke (via Skype)

Nov. 18, 2012 – Working with a publisher’s editor (cosponsored by University of Alberta Press)

Alice Major
Kath MacLean
Geo Takach
Peter Midgley


From our final salon, Back L-R – Peter Midgley, Kath MacLean, Susan Toy, Geo Takach; Front L-R – Sue Hill (Monkeyshines), Alice Major, Cathie Crooks (UofA Press)

ABC Friday Reads – You Tell Me!

Here’s an opportunity for Readers and Authors, living either inside or outside our fair province, to tell us what they are reading that’s written by Authors who do live in Alberta now or have been associated with Alberta at some time or another. (I’m looking at you, Ken McGoogan, Pearl Luke and Robert Hilles!)

In the comments below, please post the author’s name and title of the book with a link to their webpage or the book’s listing on its publisher’s page, if you know how to do that. (If you don’t know, I’ll edit the comment for you to include those links.) These may be authors still living or no longer with us, either because they’ve moved away or have left the province in the permanent sense. It may even be your own book, although in all fairness you should also list a colleague’s book as well as your own, because the best way to get the word out about your own writing is to share information about the writing of others … It’s kind of a good karma thing. (And, truly NO ONE likes endless self-promotion!)

This post will be promoted on Facebook and Twitter, as usual, but please feel free to share it yourself on whichever social media you use in order to get as many people as possible reading about Alberta authors and adding to this list of book recommendations. That way, your favourite authors, and friends, will receive promotion further afield than just within the four borders of this province.

Please also like and consider subscribing to my blog (click on the button at the right side of this page) so that you will receive future notifications immediately in your email box whenever I write about and recommend other Alberta authors and books. Do it! Do it now!

As for my own recommendation this week, I will be reading Calgary-author, Wade Bell’s collection, Tracie’s Revenge & Other Stories after reading this review of the book on the Book Club Buddy site, which by the way is a fabulous resource for finding that next book to read. Thanks, Book Club Buddy!

What’s on your nightstand?

Island in the Clouds – eBook available in UK and US!

For those of you in the UK, my novel, Island in the Clouds, is available as an eBook for both Kindle and Kobo (works with all other eReaders).

If you live in the US, you may purchase for Kindle and Kobo (works on Nook and all other eReaders).

For those of you in Calgary or Fernie, BC, or anyone wishing to support independent bookstores, I have made special arrangements with Pages on Kensington, Monkeyshines Books for Children and Polar Peek Books and Treasures for the eBook to be sold in these stores – a first for indies and eBooks!

If you have already downloaded and enjoyed reading Island in the Clouds, please tell your friends! And consider posting a review to one of the online store sites. (But, if you didn’t like it – PLEASE tell ME!!!)

Thank you to everyone who has downloaded and read the eBook so far! Your support is much appreciated!!

Interview on Book Club Buddy!

Pearl Luke, the Grand Poo-bah of the Book Club Buddy Empire (okay, perhaps I exaggerate, but she is pretty wonderful!) has posted an interview she conducted with me by email. She had originally asked me to be interviewed so that she could discover what it is exactly that I’m doing with Alberta Books Canada, and how I’m promoting the authors who have signed on with me. What I appreciated about being asked these questions and having to answer them, somewhat coherently, is that it became an exercise in straightening out in my own mind exactly what it is that I do, and what direction I want to take this business. So, thanks, Pearl! This opportunity to let everyone know about Alberta Books Canada is much appreciated!

Read the interview here.

And while you’re in the site, have a look around, check out all of the books and authors that Pearl is promoting through Book Club Buddy. Watch a few book videos. If you belong to a book club, register your club – go ahead! Do it right now! You might win free books!