Wednesday, October 5, 2011

I'd Love to Visit Your Book Club

By Judith Yates Borger, who's offering free ebook to any book club that sets up a Skype or FaceTime visit.

A writer friend refuses to visit book clubs because, she says, they tend to drink too much wine and grill her about why her character has premarital sex. Well, actually, it only happened once but it put her off book clubs forever.

I, on the other hand, love to visit with book clubs. In my little intro I tell them that I have very thick skin after working on newspapers where a good day was when only two people called me up swearing. I invite their criticism as well as their praise. They have never failed to heap on both, and I have learned from each comment. In fact, I made some changes in my second book, Whose Hand? because of comments about my first book, Where's Billie?

I've also learned there are a few key questions book club members ask every time:

Q: What is your writing routine?
A: I'm highly productive between 10 and 10:15 in the morning. The rest is slogging through mud.

Q: Was your car really blown up as portrayed in Where's Billie?
A: Yes, I wouldn't let that research go to waste.

Q: Are any members of your family characters in the book?
A: Note to my children: NO.

Q: Are any of your characters real people?
A: Lots of characters are an amalgamation of people I know or have met.

Q: How long did it take you to write the book(s)?
A: Start to publishing for Where's Billie? took three agents and seven years. For Whose Hand? it was about two years. I'm getting speedier.

Q: Do you get paid more with ebooks or paper books?
A: This is a classic Minnesotan question. What they really want to know is am I getting rich but they're too nice to ask directly. The answer is I get 70 percent royalty on ebooks, because I self publish them. I get five percent on paper books — about 80 cents for a $16.95 traditionally published book.  A reasonable follow up question here would be: Why in God's name do you work with a traditional publisher? But no one ever asks it.

Q: What is the husband in Where's Billie? doing? Fooling around? Out on assignment? Going through chemo? Then they often debate that point for up to 45 minutes.
A: Buy Whose Hand? and find out.

Three days ago I was asked: What will you be in five years?
A: Eligible for Medicare.

All of this is great, but my problem is I can't drive/fly/bus/take Amtrak many miles to visit book clubs. However, I'd really like to chat with readers from outside the Twin Cities. So ....

I'm offering  free ebooks of either Where's Billie? or Whose Hand?—your choice—to any book club willing to set up a time for me to visit  via Skype or FaceTime. Let's face it folks, the technology is there to reach out and touch someone face-to-face. Let's use it.

Email me at to set up a date/time. I promise I'll be there. Go to my website,, for descriptions of both books.


  1. Thanks for a fun post, Judith! It's great to be reminded that connecting with readers is easier than ever.

    Readers: I'm also willing to do a Skype or phone discussion with book clubs anywhere...with free ebooks provided.

  2. Very interesting post Judith. I'd love to hear how your Skype visits go. That could be an effective way to meet with readers. Tom

  3. Sounds like a great idea, Judy -- and fun! Good luck with it.

  4. This rocks!

    If only I had a book club . . .


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