As you will be all too aware, since early this year practically all live book events have had to be cancelled with some taking place online instead. This has had a dramatic effect on books sales which authors might expect and indeed rely on at live events. When I heard about the new initiative by author William Shaw called Reading Party, I wanted to share the news as it sounds like a great idea. Read on while William explains more about it.
In association with Bert’s Books, I’ve just launched a new project called Reading Party which is a new way to connect readers and writers while we’re stuck at home and no longer able to go to events.
Like hundreds of writers, I’ve seen my live book events in 2020 disappear. It became clear early on in lockdown that while Facebook Live and Zoom were great tools that we should all be using, they were no substitute for a face-to-face book event in a bookshop, a library or at a book festival.
Another thing was obvious too; online events don’t produce much in the way of books sales.
I’ve been looking for a something to replace the intimacy of live events; a way of helping readers find and buy new books.
This week I’ve launched Reading Party. The idea is we read new work aloud – together. Each participant receives their own PDF extract of a chapter specially chosen in advance by the writer. When read together by all the people in the room, the narrative gradually takes shape. And what makes the event doubly special is the writer is there in the virtual space with them to discuss what inspired the piece they’ve just read and to chat with them afterwards.
Scary? Maybe… but a lot of fun too. And a really unique way for readers to get insight into a writer’s new work. It’s a way of gaining a privileged view into the world of the writer’s latest book.
Admission to the room is limited; too many people and you’d lose the intimacy of it. Admission is by ticket or by buying a book with signed bookplate. At the end of each session the author will sign and dedicate bookplates which will be sent out by Bert’s Books with their copy.
We’ve events coming up with:
Bella Ellis, The Diabolical Bride, Nov 12 7.00pm
Elly Griffiths, The Postscript Murders, Nov 19 7.00pm
C.L. Taylor, Strangers, Nov 26 7.00pm
We’ll also be doing dates with Sarah Hilary, Mark Billingham and Will Dean in the new year.
The site is now live and tickets are already selling well. Please take a look if you can: www.readingparty.co.uk