GCW minutes of May 1, 2013



In the absence of Louis Borelli, the meeting was called to order by Chery Anderson with 11 members and two guests present, Rocky Stewart and Sally Watkins.

 There was a long discussion about the Spring Book Affair the past Saturday, April 27, 2013, and the success of the event. Going around the room for comments: June Gillam liked being called to the mic to give her “elevator speech” to the crowd, Janet Collins like networking with the other authors, Pat Grogan like the ambiance of the art gallery setting, Susan Korn was pleased that we did it and was successful, Suzanne Blaney that it was professionally set-up and gave a good impression to the public, Louise Schnur thought it was a positive experience to be there, Sally Watkins also said the overall appearance was very professional, Ann Reh said the speakers offered significant value for those attending their presentations, Mary Lou Anderson enjoyed the formal set-up of the room. Chery Anderson reported she was asked to tell stories at the PlacerArts event the next day as a result of her telling at the Book Affair.

 When the group discussed how to improve the next event a number of different suggestions were made: the problem of noise in the main room sometimes drowned out what the speaker was saying, authors could not attend the speakers talks because they wanted to sit at the table and sell books, a giveaway perk may be a better idea than having speakers, if speakers are included they should talk about topics other than those for writers, we should be collecting emails from everyone that walks in the door by having a door prize drawing, longer time to plan the event is needed, and if possible a weekend without other distracting events should be chosen. Suzanne said we need to be aware the pluses out way the negatives and should be looking at other times to have an event perhaps to piggyback on other groups events. Ann suggested we all bring a list next week of organizations we know of that have opportunities to sell books.

 Mary Lou commented it would be a help if we could determine our demographic. We should try selling to our core customer rather than trying to sell to people whose interests are not relative to buying books such as at car shows.

 Chery reported on the publicity associated with the event: Sacramento Bee printed two stories, Auburn Journal in the events calendar, The Sentinel online and the PlacerArts magazine mentioned our group. Therese Crutcher-Marin sent out info to 20 websites and Chery emailed to a list of 45 writers. It was estimated we had 30 to 35 members of the public walk through on the day of the event. Those authors present sold 15 books.

 Chery sent an email thanking the speakers and Mary Hoblit from the Arrangers Guild who volunteered to arrange flowers for the show. There was a motion made and passed to pay her expenses and send along a thank you card telling her of our appreciation.

 The photos of the event will be sent to Mary Ellen Dempsey to include with a recap for the website. Chery will set-up a scrapbook for an historian to keep minutes and notes.

 A long discussion ensued after it was mentioned our speakers Shawn Hansen and Susan Spann both emphasized the importance of a highly visible website. They said Facebook is one of the best things to use to get people to our website but the website must provide high interest for the web surfer. The current focus of having a blog on the front page is counterproductive and should be changed the members thought. Ann said our website should be something we can be proud of such as the ones for Sisters in Crime, both regional and national. Susan Korn suggested a feature on each member during the month would give them more exposure. An idea was put forward to hire a webmaster to maintain a more professional website. We will discuss it more at the next meeting.

 Cindy Sample, Sacramento author of Dying to Dance, will be speaking about motivation and creativity at the May 15 meeting at The Arts Building. The June 19 meeting will feature Shawn Hansen with a workshop about using graphics. The July 17 meeting will be PlacerArts board member Steven Lease talking about local marketing opportunities for authors.

 Treasurer Therese Crutcher-Marin announced dues of $30 are due July 1. Chery Anderson said the website now features local authors at no cost. All of them were not charged to be included and will be notified of the dues in July and erased from the website in September if they have not paid. Only those with paid dues will be featured on the website and may participate in future events.

 June Gillam volunteered to be Corresponding Secretary and will buy and mail cards as needed to ill members.

 May is a month with five Wednesdays. The fifth Wednesday was originally planned to be “party day”. There was a suggestion we have an evening dinner (Dutch treat) at Max’s Restaurant in Auburn, the entertainment to be author’s readings from their work. The idea will be discussed more at the next meeting.

 Susan Korn participated in the One Book One Community author’s speech at the high school auditorium. She said it was well attended and some of the authors there were selling books. She emphasized the idea of nominating Alton Pryor’s series of local western stories for the book to be chosen next year. Chery Anderson offered to get the book delivered to Terri Pilate the Auburn Librarian.

 Chery announced Thursday, May 2, 2013 will be the last night of Open Mic for the Spoken Word at Mel’s Diner. In September it will be in the Beecher Room at the Auburn Library.

 Submitted by Chery Anderson, acting secretary