Booktalk Nation

Authors Guild’s Booktalk Nation Goes Google-y and Bi-Coastal

Booktalk Nation hosts its first NY-LA video hangout with YA Authors Melissa de la Cruz, Kami Garcia, Michael Johnston, and Margaret Stohl. Next week: NYT Bestseller Wally Lamb Previews We Are Water.

“We’re embracing the Google in support of indie bookstores,” says Authors Guild Executive Director Paul Aiken.

This evening, Booktalk Nation ( is hosting its most ambitious hangout yet: four YA authors – from three different locations – will talk with readers around the world. The hangout is free. Readers can order personally inscribed books through Booktalk Nation.  LA’s Skylight Books and NY’s Posman Books will fulfill orders nationwide.

Booktalk Nation, developed and underwritten by the Authors Guild, is a virtual book tour and e-commerce platform available for free to readers, brick-and-mortar booksellers, authors, and publishers.  Through the site, readers order personalized books, which authors sign in the days after their events at hosting bookstores.

When it launched last November, all events were by nationwide conference call.

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Indies Put Their Passion Behind Debut Authors

We couldn’t agree more: “The relationship between booksellers and emerging authors is markedly symbiotic,” Elizabeth Knapp writes in Bookselling this Week, announcing the  lineup of fall titles for the ABA’s new Celebrate Debut Authors With Indies program.

Participating booksellers will give the 22 chosen titles special promotional attention in their stores, on their websites and through their newsletters and social media. Publishers nominated titles for the program, but final selection was up to booksellers, who took a refreshingly old-school approach:

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Booktalk Nation Hits 50-Bookstore Milestone. Next up: Video.

Four months ago, we launched Booktalk Nation and began bringing author talks to living rooms through nationwide conference calls. That’s been going great, and we now have a network of 50 brick-and-mortar bookstores from 23 states and the District of Columbia serving as order fulfillment partners and affiliates for Booktalk Nation events.

Now we’re taking the plunge and trying out video for select author talks. We’re using Google Hangouts, which we pair with a live chat service to allow viewers to interact with the author and interviewer. This week’s author talks offer a great chance to see how this works.

On Tuesday night, Douglas Rushkoff discussed his book Present Shock: When Everything Happens Now with science and technology writer Clive Thompson. Their conversation was lively and wide ranging, well worth checking out. We’ve archived it here.

You won’t be able to see how the chat feature works without attending a live event. You’ll have a chance to do that this Thursday evening, when Joe Hill discusses his new novel, NOS4A2, with science fiction writer John Scalzi. Sign up for that event here.

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Booktalk Nation Returns with Lois Lowry, Richard Russo & Robert K. Massie

Help spread the word as Booktalk Nation returns from its holiday hiatus with a full slate of nationwide dial-in events. This week, former CNN anchor Kitty Pilgrim discusses her latest thriller and Carolyn Mackler and Jay Asher talk about collaborating on their acclaimed YA novel, The Future of Us. Next week, Lois Lowry will discuss the concluding book in her Newbery winning series that began with The Giver, and Emma Straub will talk about her widely praised debut novel about Hollywood’s golden age.

Later this month, Pulitzer Prize winners Richard Russo and Robert K. Massie will be discussing their latest books, and PEN/Robert Bingham Prize winner Vanessa Veselka will talk about her debut novel, Zazen.

Here’s this month’s Booktalk Nation events (all start 7:00 Eastern/4:00 Pacific):

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Last Chance to Check Out Booktalk Nation (until January); Audio Streams

Tomorrow, Tues., Dec.11, Booktalk Nation wraps up for the holidays at 7 Eastern/4 Pacific when D.T. Max discusses his biography of David Foster Wallace, Every Love Story is a Ghost Story with Gideon Lewis-Kraus. To participate, sign up at

Or listen to last week’s talks, which can now be streamed from the authors’ pages at Booktalk Nation. Here are the links (please note that the Cursing Mommy really does curse (a lot) — not safe for work or kids):

Ian Frazier with Roy Blount Jr., The Cursing Mommy’s Book of Days:
David Abrams with Sarah Bird, Fobbit:
Ann Haywood Leal with Annie Philbrick, A Finders-Keepers Place:

Events for January feature Lois Lowry, Emma Straub, Richard Russo, and Robert K. Massie. More to come.

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BTN Update: Roy Blount, Richard Russo & A Cursing Mommy

Our launch of Booktalk Nation, a service that organizes nationwide phone-in author talks hosted by independent bookstores, continues this week with a full slate of events.

Help spread the word: forward this message on to let friends know that they can dial in Thursday evening to participate in Roy Blount’s interview of Ian Frazier and order The Cursing Mommy’s Book of Days. Mr. Frazier will cheerfully inscribe books for the cursing mommies and daddies on their gift lists. Roy Blount will inscribe Alphabetter Juice for readers who purchase the book through Booktalk Nation this week.

This week’s lineup of phone-in author talks (all start 7 PM Eastern/4 PM Pacific):

Tuesday, Dec. 4th: Children’s author Ann Haywood Leal discusses A Finders-Keepers Place and My Bookstore: Writers Celebrate Their Favorite Places.

Wednesday, Dec. 5th: David Abrams, a 20-year Army veteran who served in Iraq, discusses his satiric war novel Fobbitwith Sarah Bird.

Thursday, Dec. 6th: Ian Frazier with Roy Blount Jr. The Cursing Mommy’s Book of Days.

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Booktalk Nation Launches

We’re proud to announce the launch of Booktalk Nation, a service that organizes nationwide phone-in author talks hosted by independent bookstores. Our starting lineup of events includes Newbery Medal winner Lois Lowry discussing her final book in The Giver quartet, Roy Blount Jr. interviewing Ian Frazier about his first novel, The Cursing Mommy’s Book of Days, and D.T. Max discussing his acclaimed biography of David Foster Wallace.

Booktalk Nation, which we briefly previewed last year, is intended to supplement book tours and other efforts promoting new books. provides an e-commerce platform in conjunction with its events, allowing readers to order books that authors will personally sign at host bookstores. Proceeds from these sales are divided between the host store and any affiliate brick-and-mortar bookstores that brought the reader to the site.

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Jeffrey Eugenides, Judy Blume, Jennifer Egan Wrap Up Booktalk Nation Preview

Booktalk Nation concludes its preview this week with Jeffrey Eugenides discussing The Marriage Plot with host Jennifer Egan tonight, Judy Blume discussing Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing and other books with host Rachel Vail tomorrow night, and Peter Orner discussing Love and Shame and Love (great review in yesterday’s NYT) with host Michelle Richmond on Wednesday.

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Monday Night, Dial in to Join Two Pulitzer Prize Winning Novelists – Jeffrey Eugenides and Jennifer Egan

Book lovers can join a conversation between two of contemporary fiction’s most original and exciting novelists when Jennifer Egan interviews Jeffrey Eugenides at 9 p.m., Monday, Dec. 12 during a national, live call-in event sponsored by Labyrinth Books in Princeton, NJ.  Readers can sign up for the call and order a personally inscribed copy of Eugenides’ latest book, The Marriage Plot, at

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Booktalk Nation Preview #2: Judy Blume with Rachel Vail Tonight in Live, National Phone-In Event

Test of Affiliate Program Targeted to Traditional Bookstores

Our second Booktalk Nation event features Judy Blume, who will answer questions about her life and work from Justin Case author Rachel Vail at 7 p.m. EST tonight. The 30-minute national, phone-in event is hosted by R.J. Julia Booksellers of Madison, Connecticut. Readers can sign up for the call at

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Posted in Authorship, Booktalk Nation