AGT Monthly Meeting for April 2023
The Authors Guild of Tennessee held their monthly meeting on Thursday, April 6, 2023, at the Faith Lutheran Church, Knoxville. Social time and book exchange began at 10:30 a.m. with the business meeting starting at 11:00 a.m.
The following members were present:
Arlene Anderson, Bill Barbour, Vicki Bennett, Linda Best, Sam Bledsoe, Randy Carpenter, Bobbi Chapman,Dave Curran, Laura Derr, Danita Dodson, Sonja DuBois, Russ Fine, Linda Fitzpatrick, Leoma Gilley, BJ and Sharon Gillum, Jim Hartsell, Wes Hibbert, Morris Hudgins, Ernie Lancaster, Jerry Morton, Kathy Parr, Cheryl Peyton, Adrienne Small, Victoria Winifred, and Curt Young.
Guests: Caroline Everett, Sherry Fine, Brenda Sellers, and Gary Wells
Welcome — Cheryl.
March minutes: Minutes of the March meeting have been approved online.
Treasurer’s report: — Russ
Balance as of March l, $2714.85 Balance as of March 31: $2608.42 Total amount of Expenses in March $149.06_ Income (Preferred Pharmacy): $42.63 . Pending Transaction $300.00 Bobbi reported Federal taxes were completed and documentation sent to Russ.
Report on Committee Activities:
Committee Chairs: Shows, festivals: Cheryl
Bobbi applied to an event at STAR for March 18. Bobbi, Bill and Cheryl attended and did record or near-record sales.
Lenoir City Art & Crafts Festival (1st weekend of June). Ernie Lancaster agreed to take the last opening.
Sonja DeBois will make a presentation at 5:30 on April 19 at Hodges Library. If you’ve not heard her story, you are encouraged to attend.
Retail: Linda Best
Linda has collected books for new venues. There are currently 6 active locations: The Café, Winsome Stroll, Farragut Pharmacy, Little Drugs, and Preferred Pharmacy. We should be placing books at two new places this month: Family Drugs in Tellico Plains and Phoenix Pharmacy on Gay Street. We need new strategies for getting people to buy our books. This may involve events like indoor and outdoor signings. Ernie is the scout for us. All suggestions for locations are welcome.
Most small towns around us have newsletters that are published on a weekly basis. Our Publicity or Retail committee members can write up articles about events. We should check out the newsletters in different locations.
Training: Sam Bledsoe advised that Vicki and Linda B are good at using Twitter to promote their books. A team has put together a simple guide on how to do this.
(Vicki has a professional writer’s Twitter account with about 900 followers, deleting bots. She is selling some books. She recommends we include some hashtags like #writersonTwitter #booksforkids so you can gain followers. People may retweet your tweet. It’s free.
Linda has about 9000 followers. She says we can put a link to Amazon with your photo. She has reached 11 countries via Twitter, and probably sold 1200 books via Twitter. The buyer pays postage, and when they send the check, she sends the book. She’s signing up for the blue check so she can have her own electronic
Newsletter. She plans to set it up so anyone in AG can be featured. In order to be included, you need to have your own Twitter account. She’s created little templates. She chooses one and then personalizes it. She sends 1000-2000 tweets a day! This has been the single most important tool to advance her sales.
Writing Contest: Jerry Morton brought plaques for 1st and 2nd place winners. Cheryl wrote a congratulatory letter. The winners wanted to be mentored to compete in other contests. Jerry expressed appreciation to members who presented to the writing class. The teacher requested that we do this again next year. She will also get a plaque. The cost for awards for the year has been $500. Anonymous donors have covered the cost so far. Lenoir City is 50% non-mother tongue English students. If you are presenting, a donation of your book(s) for the library would be appreciated.
The High School second-semester student winners will be chosen in May.
AGT member Randy Carpenter spoke on the topic, “How to stay inspired as a writer, identifying your greatest source of inspiration.”
In his writing he tries to give a new perspective, or to confirm one. He has written 3,200 pieces and published 7 books. He has material for another three. 25,000 people follow him. He was a personal trainer for 25 years, and then he had an aortic valve stenosis. His inspiration came after heart surgery.
Inspiration is being mentally stimulated to do something creative or innovative. Randy’s father was an inspirational role model who admonished him to “be the best you can because you never know who is watching and it might be a child”.
Listen, think deeply, and never become complacent. Life is a full-contact sport. When we have hope in something greater than we are, it gets us through. Life, love, loss, and loneliness are his four subjects that we go through in life. Forty-two human emotions have been identified.
What gets you out of bed? What is your motivation to accomplish something today. His motivation is an Attitude of Gratitude. What legacy are we creating? Every word you’ve written and published adds or detracts from your legacy. Not everyone will let you know they admire you or appreciate your writing as they may be envious. Faith, hope and love are key elements: faith in yourself that what you are writing is meaningful and has a purpose; hope that your writing will touch someone’s heart, curiosity, or interest; and love doing it. Look on it as a job. Writing is a routine. It provides structure.
A pen can be seen as a way to communicate. How you use it determines if you accomplish something.
Character, integrity and respect are his favorite topics. Do well. Over time you develop integrity, and gain respect. We need to see these characteristics in others.
Meeting adjourned at 12:10 p.m. The next meeting is scheduled for May 4 at 10:30 a.m. at the Faith Lutheran Church.
Leoma Gilley, Secretary