Fiction Readers Summit Highlights

After mentioning that I would be at the Fiction Readers Summit last weekend, I got a few requests to share highlights. Well…if I really wanted to do that, I’d just start listing names. But since some of you would like to experience the actual event vicariously and not just listen to me gush, here are a few of my favorite parts.

Author panel selfie taken by Bethany Turner…such a great group, even if you can’t see all of them!

  • Watching at least four of the authors (possibly more too shy to admit it) declare that they came to the event to meet Lynn Austin and get a book signed by her.
  • Listening as readers shared answers to authors’ questions in the reverse panel—from humorous confessions of starting with the last page first to heartfelt tributes about why they read Christian fiction.
  • Surreptitiously taking notes on those answers because the reader panel was basically a focus group for what people are interested in seeing in fiction and I can’t shut down my marketing brain.
  • Greeting some authors I’ve appreciated from other publishing companies. (Yes, I do read books that aren’t published by Bethany House occasionally.)
  • Realizing that Jody Hedlund, Jocelyn Green, and I all graduated from Taylor University and posing for an alma mater photo.

  • Learning lots of behind-the-scenes research details, including how suspense writers convince people they’re not serial killers, which tiny historical errors have accidentally slipped into print, and what the brainstorming process looks like.
  • Hearing authors recommend books they love—including many written by other attending authors.
  • Meeting some of our fabulous bloggers who have seen my name in emails but found out that I am an actual person.
  • Laughing. A lot. Readers are a fun-loving crowd.
  • Enjoying breakfast burritos with readers who stammered and jaw-dropped their way through celebrity author sightings…and then eventually calmed down enough to hold a coherent conversation.
  • Applauding the amazing organizational committee and wondering what I have to do to become as awesome as Chris Jager (fiction buyer at Baker Book House).
  • Giving away books as door prizes! (Seriously, I love doing that.)
  • Seeing all the selfies from the book signing go up on social media, each one representing another autographed book on someone’s keeper shelf.

So, that’s the scoop on the Summit. There’s a second event planned next year in August, and we’d love to see you there! Check out the event website for the dates, with more details to come soon.

Have you ever gotten the chance to meet a favorite author in person? Tell us about it!

22 thoughts on “Fiction Readers Summit Highlights

  1. Thank you Amy. It was so fun having you there. I am glad you had as much fun as we did and I am glad you took notes. I hope that panel would help authors when they discuss topics and writing with their publishers. See you next year. (Oh you are way more awesome 😉

    • It was an excellent event, and I know everyone enjoyed themselves, authors and readers alike…although I’m sure you’re still recovering from all the work that fun was!

      Amy Green
      BHP Fiction Publicist

  2. I have had the opportunity to meet many authors, three of which I feel have become friends, since we all three live in NC/SC and are within driving distance of each other; Pepper Basham, Sondra Kraak, and Andrea Boyd. . . . . amazing ladies on and off their pages. I have attended both CFRR retreats, and hopefully can work this one in as well, next year.

    • Thank you for all the behind-the-scenes work that went into it, Alexis! (I feel like you’ll be forever hailed as a genius for the schedules-in-the-nametag plan.)

      Amy Green
      BHP Fiction Publicist

  3. I’ve been able to meet a couple authors and what a treat it has been! I’m always looking for ways to meet more! Thanks for sharing your experience!

  4. So loved having breakfast with you and sharing a table and tons of laughs! It was awesome to learn about how you approach your job with such joy! I can’t wait until next year!

  5. THanks for the new book I just received – Mary Connealy’s – I really enjoy her writings. I’ll try to remember to leave a review as I will be reading it at a later date bc of a busy schedule right now. My book club meets next wk. and I always try to recommend the new books as I get them. Thanks again! Barb

    On Thu, May 17, 2018 at 10:00 AM, Bethany House Fiction wrote:

    > bethanyfiction posted: “After mentioning that I would be at the Fiction > Readers Summit last weekend, I got a few requests to share highlights. > Well…if I really wanted to do that, I’d just start listing names. But since > some of you would like to experience the actual event vicari” >

  6. This looks like such an awesome event! 🙂 I hope to be able to attend this in the future!
    And yes–I have had an experience of meeting some favorite authors–I was privileged to attend CFRR last year! That was a really good experience.
    But…there’s life…and other stuff ;)….so one can’t go to these exciting reader’s retreats as often as you’d wish to go… 😉

  7. While in college, I had the incredible opportunity to meet and interview Madeleine L’Engle for our year book. She signed my well-loved copy of A Wrinkle in Time.

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