Friday, May 18, 2012

Book Pregnant Meet-Up in North Carolina

Whenever possible, our group members like to meet up and support each other's events, so we can put not only faces to the names but strange facial ticks, an odd choice of shoe style, or a silver minivan to the names as well. Those of us over here on the East Coast have been moaning and groaning about how we never have a chance to meet up, and shaking our little fists at the sky in envy of the West Coast people, who have had so many meet-ups, they're practically a political party.

Then our group's newly annointed NYT best selling member Wiley Cash came to North Carolina on his tour, and all members in southern Virginia and northeast North Carolina converged on Quail Ridge Books and Music in Raleigh, NC for an all-night jamboree and hootenanny. Or a book signing. One of those things.

I coerced my favorite book blogger, Andrea Kinnear of Faulkner 2 Fibonacci, to drive along with me, for a pre-event planning session with Barbara Claypole White, Brenda Bevan Remmes, and Anne Clinard Barnhill, over vegan chili and tofu sprouts at the Whole Foods next to the bookstore. Our task was to plan a panel we're going to be presenting at an upcoming conference, but when we were done my notes featured the phrase "Telling people not to use paper is like telling people not to eat potatoes." We still have work to do on that panel presentation! Here we are:

Next door at the book event, Wiley killed on stage.

Brenda and I made sure to document everything for the internet. 

Here we are waiting for Wiley to get done signing.

Brenda and Barbara getting books signed by himself. 

Wiley and our book blogger Andrea. She doesn't have to review us positively. We just pinch her if she doesn't. 

Brenda, Wiley, me (Lydia), and Barbara, who's standing in front of a huge pile of preorders waiting to be signed.

It was a delightful evening, a great reading from A Land More Kind Than Home, which is grooving its way into literary history, and a nice break from real life to hang out with girlfriends real and virtual. 

Our "Book Pregnant" group has been an experiment in collaborative marketing, a social outlet to vent and brag, a place to learn from others' triumphs and mistakes, a way to share information and insider news, and a way to make friends in the business. I marvel that these people who I barely even know in real life are so solidly on my tribe (and I on theirs) as we all try to successfully bring our books to market in this changing industry and evolving internet landscape. I'm grateful we had the chance to meet, online and in North Carolina! 


  1. Next time, could you come just a little farther north? I wish I could have been there!

  2. I just caught myself with a big silly grin on my face looking at these pictures. =) So glad you guys got to meet up! And Anne, I have to say you are looking marvelous!!!! Seriously.

  3. (The rest of you are, too, but Anne gets a special shout out.)

  4. Here's one for the tribe! And next time, we need wine. Just sayin'.

  5. This is great. I love seeing all your smiling faces. I agree with Priscille. Next time can you come farther north?

  6. It was GREAT fun and yes, Wiley kicked ass! But so great to hang out with dear friends and feel kind of NORMAL for a while! Hey, I don't feel that way too often--never have! And everyone is so pretty in person! Even (or especially Wiley!) THis is Anne B.