How to Plan a Book Club World Premiere

Image by Salvatore Vuono

As I’ve journeyed to the February 2012 publication date of my first novel, Into the Free, I’ve listened carefully to authors who have “been ‘round this track” a few times before me. One such author is bestselling novelist Lisa Wingate.

Just before her sixteenth novel, Dandelion Summer, hit shelves, Lisa shared the book with a lucky group of ladies from the McGregor Tiara Literary Society. Then she shared their reaction to the book with the world via YouTube.

Book Premiere? That’s Genius!

I’ve always been a member of at least one book club, and I am drawn to books that encourage people to discuss the themes of the story. I was intrigued by Lisa’s idea for a premiere. I figured, Hollywood holds premieres for new movies, right? Publishers have started making trailers for books, just as producers do for films…so…why not follow that line of thinking and host a premiere for my novel? I was convinced Lisa Wingate was brilliant. And I was right.

But Lisa is not just brilliant. She is generous and compassionate and eager to share her talents with others. It’s no surprise she provided a step-by-step tutorial on her Southern Belle View blog for others who might want to plan such an event. There you’ll find detailed instructions on planning, organizing, recording, and sharing the big premiere.

Without her directions, I would have overlooked details about release forms and microphones. I would have struggled using Windows Movie Maker to edit the clips, and I would have been clueless about lighting, length, and little tips to make the event fun for all involved.

Roll out the Red Carpet!

Thanks to Lisa Wingate’s fabulous advice, and Terri Blackstock’s kind suggestion to check out Lisa’s idea, I have since held three book premieres across the country for Into the Free. I’m editing them now and will be sharing them with the public in January, 2012. But just for fun, I have posted some of the photos and comments on my website.

If you’re planning to launch a book in the future, I strongly encourage you to consider a book club premiere. Even if the camera malfunctions (as mine did with the third event) or Skype gets moody (as it did with the group in Colorado), it’s still a ton of fun and very interesting to hear reader feedback before the book ever hits shelves.

Big thanks to the Beach Babes of Baton Rouge, Louisiana; Porch Pals in Longmont, Colorado; and the University Literary Circle from Oxford, Mississippi for playing along with me.

And…be sure to view  clips from Lisa Wingate’s world premiere for Dandelion Summer.