Book clubs are a huge part of my success.
Ever since my debut in 2010 with IN THE BELLY OF JONAH, ABA’s Indie NextPick Notable, book clubs have been a strong influence on how I write. The book clubs of Buffalo and Camp Crook, South Dakota were one of my first stops during my 2010 book tour. Those three dozen ladies (and man… my cousin who didn’t have a choice but to come since I was kin) made sure to let me know how a real South Dakotan would have responded in some of the Liv Bergen key scenes. They’re passionate response gave me an idea. What if a book club could be my “ideal reader” as a sounding board before I turned in my manuscript to my editor? Then it hit me. Book Clubs are prefect as “ideal readers” or what I call my beta readers, because they 1) read alot, 2) are brutally honest, 3) can drag my finger to problems in the book that elude me, and 4) are extremely fun to get feedback from.
Therefore, for LOT’S RETURN TO SODOM, WIDOW’S MIGHT, and NOAH’S RAINY DAY I solicted a book club’s input — expert input — before I turned the manuscript over to my publisher. Check out the acknowledgements.
LOT’S RETURN TO SODOM 2011- Tough Ladies of Harding County Book Clubs (Buffalo gals turned out in large numbers to tell me what it’s really like to be be terrorized by 1%er outlaw motorcycle clubs and made LOT real). Because of you, 2011 Top 50 Women’s Mysteries on Amazon for Ebook.
WIDOW’S MIGHT 2012- The Nameless Book Club who I terrorized one night, surprising them at their living room window (Thanks Ruthie & Sarah for introducing me to Danielli, Jessica and Judy and for making the widow even stronger). Because of you, ABA’s Indie NextList, #37 Favourite Mystery and Thriller on GoodReads Listopia.
NOAH’S RAINY DAY 2013- Ladies of the Knight and the Rambling Mustangs Book Club (Chicago’s in the house! You nine ladies did a fabulous job heightening the tension and improving the elements of suspense. Thanks, Denise, for introducing me to your friends). Because of you #1 Best Books with Handicapped Hero List, #39 Favourite Mystery and Thriller on GoodReads Listopia.
Who’s going to be the beta reading book club for the fifth Liv Bergen mystery? Is it you and your club?
Beta Reader Book Club: Beta reading the manuscript before I turn it into my publisher takes alot of work. First, you have to be brutally honest with me on where I dropped the ball or where I let you down as a reader. Second, you have expectations of these characters and I want to meet your expectations. So I appreciate your honest feedback. The process helps fans understand where a project starts from a raw manuscript to final book published. And I get to include your names in the acknowledgements plus I send you copies of the final autographed book as my way to say ‘thank you’.
Name-That-Book Book Club: On the fifth book, I’m also looking for book clubs to help me with a name, based on a synopsis. The book club with the winning name also receives an autographed copy of my book. The title must fit into the series of book titles already established, must be a twist on a biblical story, and must have some connection to the story or underpinnings of the plot.
Details To Enter Your Book Club: By November 1st, 2013, email me if you’d like your book club to participate in Beta Reading, in Name-That-Book, or in both at Sandra@SandraBrannan.com and note in the subject line “Beta 5″, “Title 5″, or “Both 5″ to be eligible for the drawing. The details I’ll need from you are the name of your book club, the city where you’re from, how many are in the club, and contact information for the person who will be coordinating your input and my gifts for the club. (Oh and a promise from you to keep the story a secret, of course! shhhhhhh) I’ll Skype or FaceTime or telephone attend with your book club in early December once you’ve had the month of November to review the manuscript.
So grateful to all of my fans and especially the book clubs who’ve made me a better writer!