Chrys Fey here, stopping in for a guest post about the IWSG Goodreads Book Club!
The Insecure Writer’s Support Group Book Club on Goodreads was created for writers to read and learn about the writing craft. We read one book every two months, alternating between writing-related books and fiction books that can teach us about a specific aspect of storytelling.
Reading is the best way to learn. And when we put the things we learn into practice, we grow as writers That is the goal of our book club. Every book selected, no matter the genre, has something to offer our members. By reading, we are expanding out storytelling knowledge, examining how authors use specific aspects of storytelling, and we also discover what he like/dislike as readers, which will influence our writing.
In the group, we posted a poll asking what our members want to learn more about in regards to writing a story. The options were the group’s fictional book categories, and our members’ answers now dictate what categories we tackle and when.
So, the first fiction book we read was The Secret Garden for characterization. And the book we read for Oct/Nov was The Time Traveler’s Wife for structure. That means the third fiction book for Feb/March 2018 will be for symbolism, which out members will get to vote on.
Our book discussions include questions about topics of interest from the books we read, so members can share their opinions and also offer advice and insight.
In the discussion for Marketing for Writers who Hate Marketing, we asked 12 questions that got many great responses.
One question we asked was this: Do you have a website? Why or why not?
Here are two thought-provoking answers from club members:
Leah: I do have a website. It's the one piece of virtual real estate I can control while all the social media channels change rules/algorithms (whatever), and there's nothing the author can do about it….
Samantha: Yes-ish. I have a blog to which I've added pages so it serves as a website, too. It's important to have a web presence. A lot of events won't even consider a writer who doesn't. And if someone hears about me or my work, I want to be search-able so they can find me!
We also conduct author interviews in which our members get to ask the author of the book we’re reading questions about the book or topic in general. We then pick 10 of the best questions and send them to the author to answer.
One member’s question for James Scott Bell was: What is one good marketing strategy that you see authors doing wrong or falling short with, and how can they make it work better for them?
Bell’s Answer: Cover design is a marketing element. Giving books mediocre covers, or ones that are not genre specific, will hurt sales despite how good the book might be. Don’t short shrift on the cost here.
Everything we do in the book club is meant to create dialogue between writers, shine light on things many writers struggle with, and offer advice. Not only will you learn from the books but from the discussions and interviews as well.
So, join us!
Our December/January book is The Weekend Novelist by Robert J. Ray, which could be of interest to members who worry they write too slow, the second biggest insecurity voted on by our members.
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So jump in and join the IWSG Goodreads Book Club!