As I was preparing our annual "BC Year in Review" survey this morning, it occurred to me that some authors might be interested in asking our readers some questions.  Large and diverse, our club not only appreciates the generosity of the authors who have made themselves available for our questions but our members also enjoy sharing their own opinions about Christian literature.

 

If you would like to pose a question to our group, reply to this post and I'll include it in the survey that our group will fill out at our August 17th special event.  After the results are compiled and tabulated, I'll post the results here later in August.

 

Thanks,

Sandi

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Ronald, first let me apologize for not immendiately responding to your friend request. It got buried in my email and when I remembered to respond the link had disappeared. I have "friended" you just now in hopes you have not dismissed me as a rude person. :-)

What an interesting question you have posed. I never considered that some may chose a work of fiction to vicariously works through issues of concern. In reality, that is the outcome of reading issue-oriented books. When a book personally touches one of our members, there can sometime be therapeutic tears.

Great question...I'll include it on the survey.
Hi Sandy,

Thanks for making this discussion open to everyone. I would be interested in knowing the most frequent avenue people use in choosing a book.

*media supported reviews/advertisting
*friend suggestion
*online browsing
*bookstore browsing
*other

Thanks!
Karina Harris; author of "Second Chance"
Hi Karina, the short answer for me is all of the above. I also take advantage of Amazon's "wish list" feature. I load up my wish list with authors I love and books which have peaked my interest. This gives Amazon data to recommend other books which might interest me. An added bonus is that on "Deal of the Day" there is a section of personal picks for me chosen from my wish list and discounted for the day generally an additional 5%. WIth the volume of books I purchase, the savings add up. Every day offers a new selection of discounted choices.

I'll add your additions to the "what influences" question. I am also interested to see how many still browse "brick and morter" vs online.

Thanks for your input.
Great info, Sandi.
I will have to look into that. I also agree w/ you regarding your last statement. I personally love going into an actual bookstore...just the sight of all the books...all the possibilities. I could spend hours! But if there is a particular book I want, often I will order it online. (One possible reason for that though might be the fact that there are no bookstores in the town where I live...)
Karina-
I was thinking about your above response when I was shopping last week for books to give away at our Aug 17th BC event. In two of the larger Christian bookstores in town, I noted that the larger publishing houses had a lock on shelfspace. The few exceptions seemed to be reserved for local first time authors. There are so many great books coming out of the small/new houses that I decided to take a variety to the event to expand our members' horizens. I went online to shop and your book Second Chance was one of the ones that I ordered. I'll also be including your book the experiment to test reactions to various book covers given that the cover is atypical.
S.
How many books do you read in a month or year. . .and by what medium--Kindle? Paperback? Hardback? Audio? How do you hear about the books you do read. . .ads, social networks, word-of-mouth, catalogues, bookstore shelves, internet trailers. . . .?
Hi Janet. The short answer to your question is as many books as I can! Sometimes, the Lord blesses me with enough time to read as many as 5/week and other weeks there is only time for 1 or 2. My husband enjoys his Kindle but I prefer a "real" book and will be one of the last holdouts still clinging to one. It does not matter if a book is hardback or paperback but I will sometimes purchase a hardback copy of a paperback that I have enjoyed. I am blessed to have a very large library in my home where I can keep and share all of the wonderful books that have crossed my path. My husband and I enjoy audio books on our travels but often I will read to him while he is driving. I explore every avenue to discover books. A personal delight for me is to introduce a new book or author to the group and it takes special diligence to stay ahead of their own sleuthing! I love the new trailers that are becoming commonplace and appreciate Fred for allowing space for them on this site.
Sandi - You are my kind of reader!
Pamela,
Thanks for your replies on this discussion. This is a perfect example of how participating on this site can increase an author's visibility . I was not familiar with your work so I visited your website. I see that you are getting ready to release Secret of the Shroud and that it was formally Walk Back the Cat. Are there any differences besides the title change? Am I correct to assume that you wove some apologetics into the storyline? The intense premise of Dancing on Shattered Glass would certainly provide fodder for discussion groups. Are there additional details you can reveal about this book given that it is still a year away from hitting the market?

Thanks,
Sandi
Hi Sandi - Dancing On Glass was originally going to be released this past July - but my inside story is that the Vatican (which owns the Shroud of Turin) surprisingly set up a rare public exhibition of it in May, so B&H decided to rerelease Walk Back The Cat, with the new title and some new content in conjunction with that. Jimmy and I went over to view the exhibition with Barrie Schwortz, who is one of the world's most informed experts on the Shroud. (There's an interesting interview with him under my 'Faith' blog, interesting especially because he is Jewish, yet has spent his whole life being the 'messinger' of the Shroud information. He does believe that it is real.) He is the person who usually hosts the Shroud documentaries on History Channel and DIscovery Channel. Barrie is the official STURP photographer for the SHroud, and I'm thrilled to say that he allowed me to use his picture of the face of the Man of the Shroud in my book, along with an amazing recent quote from Pope Benedict when he visited the Shroud on May 2nd. I guess this is a long way of answering your first question. Secret of the Shroud is psychological suspense centered around the Shroud, and a terrible choice that has to be made by a wealthy, powerful and ambitious archbishop. It is fast-paced and deals with big moral questions and issues that sometimes plague us in the dark of night. All of the latest research on the Shroud of Turin provides the pieces of the puzzle that creates the mystery. So that's the story of why the updated 2nd edition now, and DAncing later. (Sigh - sorry about the length of my answer.)

So. Dancing On Glass will be released on July 1, 2011 and you're right, it's a good discussion book. I'm excited about it. Set in New Orleans (my hometown) in the mid-1970's. A smart, good woman finds herself married to a man who isn't what he seems. I don't want to give too much of the story away, but will say that this brings up issues that women -- particularly today -- face often in relationships. It also raises big issues, like free will and the choices we make in our lives, emotions vs. responsibilies when making choices, and how faith, reason and inner strength (and joy) help us deal with difficult choices and consequences. And why do bad things happen in God's world. I'll definitely have discussion questions for book clubs on my web site, and love to talk to readers, in person or over the telephone.

Thanks for asking! Pamela
Hi, Janet;

I work at a book store so I put books on shelves every day! If a cover catches my eye I check out the first page or two. See if I'm interested in reading it and if it will make a book club pick list for my ladies to vote on. Some times a book is fun to read but it is not something that would be a book club fit. The ladies in both of my book clubs are willing to try new books and new authors but there are certain types of books that they want to stay away from.

Since I work in a book store I have to stick with books that are available for purchase in the store. If the book is chosen as a book club pick I display it on a book club end cap in the store for all to see. This helps everyone know what we are reading 4 months out. The customers usually pick up the books and check them out since they are a book club pick.

I usually stick with reading paperback books for my group. It makes it more affordable for everyone. In order for the book to get on the Book Club Pick list I have to read the book first. I take good notes because if my ladies vote on a book we usually read it the following year.

I try to not pick books that lead to too much personal discussion since the book club meetings are in the middle of the book store. We do discuss many different topics and issues but like I mentioned in another one of Sandi’s discussions I tend NOT to ask my ladies to answer questions that are of a very personal nature. Like, Can you tell me the time this happened in your life? Have any events happened in your life that were similar to the main character. Do tell? I shy away from discussions like this. You never know who is listening to the discussion.

The first part of this year I was reading 13 books a month. I’ve cut that down to 5 to 7 at the most! There are so many good books being written in the Christian market right now. It’s a blessing. I wish I could read more, but I do have to work and tend to the husband and kids! Grin!!
Hi, Nora!

You mentioned something that piqued my curiosity: "Since I work in a book store I have to stick with books that are available for purchase in the store." Is that a self-imposed constraint, or do you have an agreement with the store owner/management that you'll support the store in such a way? I expect there's plenty of book-club fodder in your store, but it also seems you might be missing out on a lot of good material that your store doesn't stock. Just wondered why the limitation. Thanks!

Cheers! Bruce

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Created by Phred St Laurent May 27, 2010 at 11:35pm. Last updated by Phred St Laurent May 31, 2010.

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