AGT Monthly Meeting for August 2023
The Authors Guild of Tennessee held their monthly meeting on Thursday, August 3, 2023, at the Faith Lutheran Church, Knoxville. Social time and book exchange began at 10:30 a.m. Business meeting started at 11:00 a.m.
The following members were present:
Stephen Lyn Bales, Bill Barbour, Vicki Bennett, Linda Best, Sam Bledsoe, Randy Carpenter, Bobbi Chapman, Deana Charcalla, Patricia Crumpler, Danita Dotson, Sonja DuBois, Linda Fitzpatrick, Kaye George, Leoma Gilley, Jim Hartsell, Morris Hudgins, Stanford Johnson, Ernie Lancaster, Jerry Morton, Kathy Parr, Cheryl Peyton, Brenda Sellers, Frank Snyder, Art Stewart, Carole Stoiber, Cyn Taylor, Victoria Winifred, and Curt Young.
Guests: Stephanie Addante, Laurie Andrew (ElleAndrews Patt)
Welcome – Cheryl. introduced new member, Carole Stoiber. Carole is looking for marketing tips for her book and publishing options.
Leoma spoke briefly about her trip to Uganda teaching orthography development and also her latest book, the first of a 5-book memoir series. The title is Launching into the Unknown.
Fairs – Nov 10-12 is the Christmas Expo. One person dropped out, so we need one or two more to join.
Pumpkin Fest – Oct 28 We would welcome one more member. The cost is $87/person but the organizers expect 100,000 people to attend. On 27 Aug we will know if we are accepted. No money will be collected until we are. Set up is Friday night.
Sonja DuBois will make a presentation Aug 21 at 3:00 pm at Addison bookstore.
Book signing by Ernest Lancaster at Neighborly Books in Maryville on Saturday morning.
Linda Best has an offer for film rights to Antonio’s story.
July minutes: Minutes of the July meeting have been approved online.
Treasurer’s report: – Cheryl (later received from Russ Fine)
Balance as of July 1, $2152.22_ Balance as of July 31:_ 2063.95__ July Income: _$121.70_
Total amount of Expenses in July__$659.94__utstanding checks: __$7.69__.
Report on Committee Activities:
Book donation to TV Library – Bobbi reported that 16 authors have each given 2-3 books for the fundraiser for Tellico Village Library. Authors will be promoted. More donations will be taken through October.
Writing Contest — Jerry and Art –
They are seeking volunteers to speak at the Lenoir City HS creative writing class. The teacher was enthusiastic and appreciative of the volunteers last year. The creative writing class is the most popular elective now. This year’s focus is on poetry. Presenters do not have to be poets. There are 40 different approaches to poetry and a backstory. There are 2 sessions for talks on Tuesday and Thursday for 4 weeks, Sept – Oct. If possible, volunteers should speak at both sessions, one in the morning, the other in the afternoon. They circulated a signup sheet. The teacher has asked us to include a bio and the topic to be addressed so the students can be prepared with better questions. One’s talk should be 15-20 minutes in length. Save room for questions. Engage the students, and it will enhance your talk. There are 6 slots to be filled.
It has been suggested that we ask those businesses who sell our books to become sponsors for similar competitions in other schools.
For prizes for Lenoir City schools, the total cost will be $800 and $600 has been donated.
Retail: Linda Best needs someone to help find locations for our books in the Townsend area. Farragut Pharmacy– Linda is gathering books for this location. She did a demographic study of what would most likely sell. 3) She would like to promote some school activities such as a Back to Books event for parents. Any ideas are welcome. Linda needs help with ideas and members to visit stores. We are the best promoters of our books. We could have book signings where are books are sold. .
Guest Laurie Andrew reported that Tri-Star Pharmacy on Kingston Pike is willing to display and sell our books. Cheryl will follow up.
Getting involved in book clubs is an option.
Bill, Art and Cheryl went to the Phoenix Pharmacy to place books and make a videotape. Stephen Lyn Bales will maintain the display and check on it every 2 weeks. The purpose of the videotapes is to promote our books and the locations that display and sell them. We have 66 titles at Phoenix Drugs.
Bill will videotape other store owners to talk about their businesses for YouTube. He can also post book trailers and Meet the Author videos that can be linked to the author’s webpage.
Programming – Kaye George needs suggested speakers for Oct, Nov and Dec. meetings. As Kaye is having shoulder surgery, please contact Sam Bledsoe.
Training: Sam Bledsoe handed out cards requesting that people specify the type of training they would like to have.
Our guest speaker was Amber Roessner, professor at the University of Tennessee’s School of Journalism & Media. Amber teaches media history and its relationship to the culture. A former sportswriter and magazine editor, she is an expert in the history of media and mass cmmunication, sports writing, and political reporting.
Ms. Roessner spoke about writing skills and marketing books.
As writers, we need to share our truth. She writes for herself to sort out what’s in her head and then for the audience. Make certain that every word counts. She wants to share with her readers a slice of real life. Inventing Baseball Heroes was her first book. She takes a scene from the past and makes it as real as possible for today’s readers. Jimmy Carter and the Birth of the Marathon Media Campaign (2020) was her second book. Carter’s rise from an unknown candidate to president made him the miracle man.
Make local audiences aware of what we write: Take advantage of your phone and make videos. Develop a website based on your book, taking the domain name of your book and developing a site. It’s worth investing in promotion and in the social media landscape. Take every conversation you can about your book. Contribute columns in papers that match your passion. Many bookstores are just resuming live events with authors. Think beyond traditional outlets. Don’t be afraid to get out there. Union Ave Bookstore is hosting author chats shortly after a book is published.
Meeting adjourned at 12:17 p.m. The next meeting is scheduled for September 7 at 10:30 a.m. at the Faith Lutheran Church.