Minutes for January 2020 AGT meeting
The Authors Guild of Tennessee met on January 9, 2020 at Faith Lutheran Church, Farragut, Tennessee. The meeting was called to order by President Cheryl Peyton at 11:10 a.m.
The following members were present:
Linda Fitzpatrick, Sally Boyington, Kaye George, David Curran, Jerry Morton, Don Pardue, Danielle Asher, Walter Lambert, Jared Jackson, Randall Carpenter, Tilmer Wright, Ray Strobo, Jim Hartsell, Cyn Taylor, Jody Dyer, and Cheryl Peyton
Guest present was: Leoma Gilley, missionary and author.
December minutes. Approved with correction of Randy Carpenter being listed on our checking account instead of Jody Dyer.
Treasurer’s report (Jim Hartsell) Opening balance in December was $1,483.84; closing balance with receipt of dues was $2,068.64. Not all dues have been received, although some brought in checks today. New treasurer Mary Gaines was out due to illness, so Jim will arrange to meet her to transfer bookkeeping records.
Jody Dyer requested that everyone let her know what groups they’ve spoken to for her to compile a list.
Cheryl presented Cyn Taylor with a $25 Amazon gift certificate for having read and reviewed the most books this past quarter. Cyn has won the award for every quarter of 2019. Cyn urges the continuation of the contest in 2020 for others to compete as she has now read most of our books.
Cheryl showed the group the 2020 directories which Cyn distributed.
Cheryl held up a sample of the 500 clear plastic shopping bags with the AGT logo the Board purchased for use at sales events. The bag is 9” x 12” and can hold at least two paperbacks.
Cheryl reminded the group to contact her with any updates needed for their website page. Tilmer has agreed to be website coordinator this year.
Brief updates from Committee Chairs:
Library: Cyn Taylor reviewed the process of returning and checking out books.
Marketing: Jared Jackson announced that he has recently been awarded the Mom’s Choice Award Gold Seal, their highest rating (similar to a rating by Consumer’s Reports.) The cost of application is $900.
Program: Linda Fitzpatrick distributed her survey asking for responses on what subjects would be of interest to the group to aid her in lining up speakers.
Retail: As new chair of this committee, Walter Lambert asked everyone for any help they could give him.
Vetting/Membership: Kaye George introduced our newest member, Sally Boyington, who writes fictional stories about the mysteries surrounding a paleolithic civilization living in what is now Arizona.
Sally told the group that she is pleased to join us; that she has a background in proofreading and editing — mostly scholarly works in a university setting. Besides writing, she has many interests such as dog training and horseback riding.
AGT member Randy Carpenter addressed the group on “Things to Remember when Selling in a Group,” handing out printed copies of his nine suggestions for improving your sales by proper dress, demeanor, book display, and techniques to intrigue buyers; and his eleven “dos and don’ts” of selling in a group recommending non-aggressive sales techniques and consideration for other authors.
As Randy had to leave immediately following his talk, the rest of the group stayed to discuss his suggestions. Several members voiced agreement with his points on selling in a group: denouncing aggressive sales tactics, including talking to passersby, standing to attract attention, using a raised voice when selling, and speaking to other authors’ customers. Others related their negative experiences of selling with others who employed some of these tactics, reporting that they never signed up for another event. A vote was taken on whether to adopt these prohibitions for group sales and it was unanimous.
Meeting adjourned at 12:15. Next meeting: February 6.
Secretary Pro Tem