Minutes for September 2019 AGT meeting
AGT meeting, September 5, 2019
The Authors Guild of Tennessee met on September 5, 2019 at Faith Lutheran Church, Farragut, Tennessee. The meeting was called to order by President Cheryl Peyton at ___11:02____
The following members were present: Jared Jackson, Cheryl Peyton, Jim Hartsell, Ray Strobo, Don Pardue, Kaye George, Cyn Taylor, Bobbi Chapman, Dick Cross, Tilmer Wright, Donna Habib, Carol McClain, David Curran, Linda Shepherd, David Curran, Eva Wyke, Sharon Higa, Walter Lambert, Randall Carpenter, Linda Shepard, Linda Fitzpatrick, Sam Bledsoe, Russ Fine, Nan Klee, Jerry Morton and Mary Gaines.
Guests present were: Arlene Robinson, Lainey Tipton, Sherry Fine, and Tracy Taylor.
August minutes. Approved as written.
Treasurer’s report (Jim Hartsell) Opening balance: $1,299.17. Closing balance $1,131.84. Jim stated that a significant amount of money was spent at beginning of year and a positive upswing will occur at end of this year. Cheryl added that the money is here for members to use. She gave a couple of examples: First, members may be reimbursed for gas milage if they had to drive to some of the bookstores to attend to our bookshelves. Second, Linda found a new store owner in Crossville, willing to make posters for AGT for a signing. Money may be used for paying for posters. Board pre-approval needed for over $50.
Brief updates from the following Committee Chairs
Marketing, (Linda Fitzpatrick) National Author’s Day is on Firday Nov. 1. The Authors Guild of Tennessee will join with Union Avenue Books to celebrate the occasion. The selection committee for this honor is a distinguished panel of literary experts. Eight authors will be picked from 20 applicants. Linda Fitzpatrick will coordinate volunteers as greeters at the event. The bookstore will give a percentage of the sales of that day to Authors Guild.
Russ and Sharon will coordinate two book signings at Russ’s store in the Crossville Outlet Center, a shopping mall in Crossville (228 Interstate Dr.) on Saturday, November 30 from 10:00 am – 2:00 pm and Sunday, December 1 from 11:00 am-2:00 pm. Everyone is welcome. Tables and chairs will be available. Everyone who buys a book will be given a 10% discount from Cheesecake Plus More.
Randy Carpenter: Proposed to change our mission statement and add goals.
The currant one: to support and encourage our members in their writing project, by promoting their work on social media, at fairs, festivals, book signing events, and in retail stores.
The proposed one: The Authors Guild of Tennessee celebrates the rich literary tradition of Tennessee through facilitating opportunities for people to get to know authors more personally, discovering details about their books, finding inspiration through their challenges or successes, and ultimately strengthening a desire to read.
Support and encourage our members in their writing project, by promoting their work on social media, at fairs, festivals, book signing events, and in retail stores.
Facilitate and support public programs and events, such as National Authors Day, which emphasize the importance of reading and writing.
Educate the public about the history of books and authors who have a connection to Tennessee, through programs such as “The Authors Page” on public radio.
Jerry motioned to adopt the new mission statement. A discussion followed and it concluded in allowing all members to voice their feedback on wording and length of new mission statement. Please send your re-writes, edits, or comments to Cheryl and Randy.
Randy asked that members please write ALL checks to AGT, PLEASE!
Membership (Kaye George) There is currently one application pending for membership.
Retail: (Bobbi Chapman) Currently AGT has eleven stores displaying and selling our books. Linda Shepard recently obtained Crossville gift shop, 5th Street Market, to sell our books.
Announcements. (David Curran) David Curran related his search on Ancestry.com and the shocking results. He sent in his DNA and it came back that he had a full brother he had never heard of. That brother contacted him and David found out he was switched at birth. The family he should have been with is in Massachusetts and he has two younger brothers and a sister. His name was to be Richard Worthington and the person he was switched with is now living in California. What a total surprise to find out all of this at age 76 and that the family he grew up was not his real family. Happily, a meeting of the new family will be in October. He thanked everyone for their support and welcomes any suggestions or ideas.
Announcements. (Cheryl) Cheryl encouraged everyone to take out books; last month only six people took out books. One reason for our organization is to read one another’s books and write reviews. She also reminded everyone of how good we feel when we get reviews. She added that people who buy books actually read the reviews and that it does matter. Cyn asked that people who review need to give a five-star review. Her reasoning for this was that Amazon looks at the number of stars more than the number of reviews. Tilmer added that if you have a prime kindle account, you are able to check out e-books free or purchase them at a low price. This enables members to write a verified purchase review.
Richard Cross brought up online fraud and advised members to be wary of strange emails, even if they were sent from people you know. Ransomware was discussed, which is when a hacker locks your computer. If that happens: Unplug your computer, remove the battery, and wait an hour before putting the battery back and starting the computer.
Program: Cheryl introduced our speaker, Tracy Taylor who has a online marketing business found at https://TNTMarketingCalendar.as.me. She went through ten ways to aid authors in getting their work noticed social media:
- Run a Q&A session: give readers the opportunity to ask questions live, and give them asset amount of time in which they’ll have your undivided attention.
- Ask fans for their opinions: fans are often eager to voice their opinions online, so prompting them with a specific topic can be a great way to start discussion and get people talking about a book.
- Post cover reveals: social media is a great place to show fans what your next book will look like. They’ll be excited to see the visual depiction of your next story, and it will build recognition when the book is available for sale.
- Show props from a scene in a book: bring your books to life by showing fans how you envisioned objects from specific scenes.
- Share event schedules: if you’re participating in conferences, book tours, book signings, or any other event, let fans know where they can find you.
- Provide a behind the scenes look at your writing process: show fans what inspires you during your writing process. This can be anything from the research you gathered, photos from location scouting trips, diagrams or sketches you drew, or even excerpts from early drafts.
- Update fans on your writing progress: your fans may be clamoring for your next book, so give them an update! They’ll enjoy the glimpse into your publishing process, and an update serves as a nice reminder of the upcoming release.
- Show off your work space: if you’d rather not give specific updates on your work in progress, show your fans where you work. Writing can be an isolated task, so social media provides a great way to invite readers into your workspace (without the risk of in-person distraction).
- Share a quote from one of our books: To drive exposure for a book, create an image of a notable, inspiring, or funny quote form the book. You can use tools like Canva or Designfeed to easily turn quotes into eye-catching images.
- Discuss your love of books: Readers who follow authors on social media obviously love books. Relating to them and sharing in that love of books can foster engagement.
Cheryl thanked the speaker and iterated the importance of social media. She also recommended that members look up Lin Stepp on Facebook for additional ideas.
Meeting adjourned at 12:08. The next meeting: October 3