Club Read: Authors Included

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The New Atlantic Independent Booksellers Association (NAIBA) and the Southern Independent Booksellers Alliance (SIBA) have partnered to create Club Read, a “booklovers retreat,” featuring 12 authors, including Joyce Maynard and Adriana Trigiani, who will interact with 200 attendees. The event will be held at Mariners Landing Resort in Huddleston, Virginia, on October 15 and 16.  Participating bookstores will receive a portion of the ticket sales made in their stores.

The idea for the retreat was the result of a brainstorming session by the executive directors of NAIBA and SIBA — Eileen Dengler and Wanda Jewell. The two E.D.s are “always sharing ideas and dreaming up new ones,” said Dengler. “Club Read came out of our own love of book events, gatherings of authors and their fans, and what our own version of a perfect weekend of books would be like. We took that and figured out a way to make it benefit our associations and booksellers.”

Jewell said she wanted to create a venue where readers and writers could meet and “not have standing-in-line-time, but time for a conversation and sharing that can only happen when people get comfortable.”

Part of Club Read’s mission is to underscore the role of independent bookstores as a physical place to talk about books. Both Dengler and Jewell want to highlight indie stores as go-to places for all things literary, particularly book events and interactions off-line. Jewell told BTW, “Nothing can replace the gathering of real people in real time and space.”

NAIBA and SIBA member bookstores can sell tickets — which are $500 per person and include the retreat, accommodations at the Mariners Landing Resort, and meals — and retain a portion of the ticket price. One of the benefits for participating bookstores is that they can offer their customers entry to the event without having to do any of the legwork, said Dengler.

By working together, NAIBA and SIBA are able to take in-store author events to a new level for their bookstore members. “Having the two associations work together gives us a broader base of consumers to reach through our collective bookstores,” said Dengler. “And it is easier to create and manage an event of this size with someone to share the load.”

Other Club Read authors are Jessica Anya Blau, Susan Henderson, Sena Jeter Naslund, Heather Newton, Matthew Norman, Greg Olear, Dolen Perkins-Valdez, Gretchen Rubin, and Amy Stolls. BookClubGirl.com is sponsoring the event, and Reading Group Choices is assisting with marketing.

“We’re already thinking about Club Read for 2012, and hoping we are able to do more than one,” said Jewell. 

NAIBA or SIBA stores interested in participating should visit sibaweb.com/club-read. Information for readers who’d like to attend is available at club-read.com. Publishers that want to be notified about future plans for Club Read events should e-mail club.read4fun@gmail.com.