Have you ever wished an author could join in on your book club meeting? Conversations with authors give readers the chance to learn about the writer’s inspiration and writing process, her surprises or challenges, how she crafted characters or researched the book’s time period, and so much more. And authors love interacting with book club members and hearing reactions to their work.
Make sure everyone reads the book! Ask members to prepare questions ahead of time and submit them to a facilitator who edits and organizes them. Author Jillian Cantor suggests having approximately 5-7 questions on hand when the chat begins.
Make sure you have confirmed the correct date, time, and, time zone with the author.
Agree on a timeframe with the author; generally, 30-45 minutes works well. This should allow enough time for preparedness as well as spontaneous questions.
Author Eugenia Kim appreciates when one member of the group moderates the discussion. The designated facilitator opens the chat with introductions and a short statement and offers the author a chance to make an opening remark. During the discussion, the facilitator cues members as they take turns posing questions to the author, summarizes points, clarifies questions, and keeps an eye on the time.
Set aside time for discussion both before and after the video chat session. Author Jillian Cantor says she likes to wait to join in at least 30 minutes into the meeting so the members have time to settle in and discuss the book on their own. After video chatting, the group can debrief and wrap up.