December 30, 2015

HOW TO SELL A PIE: Three Ideas for Bringing the Pies, Books & Jesus Book Club to Readers

By Kathleen Y’Barbo

When I learned that FIREFLY SUMMER, my Southern tale of a small town book club called the Pies, Books & Jesus Book Club, would finally be published, I was beyond thrilled. You see, for almost ten years, this was one of those books of the heart that just wouldn’t let me go. From the small town setting, so like the little Texas town where I grew up, to the characters who populated the story—including one who is aptly named after my mother—FIREFLY SUMMER is, in a word, special.

Finding a way to get the word out about this book and the Pies, Books & Jesus Book Club series meant putting on my Southern thinking cap, or rather my straw hat, and coming up with a plan. Social media has been a great place to spread the word, but there are so many more places to talk about Southern fiction than just on Facebook and Twitter. I decided to go for a three-pronged approach that includes reader engagement, special promotions, and a giving back to the readers.

First, reader engagement: What better way to introduce readers to the Pies, Books & Jesus Book Club than by creating an actual book club? I’ve got a page set up on Facebook where readers can gather and discuss the same books the characters in the series are reading. The page is still a work in progress and will grow as the series grows, but you can check it out here:

Though using special promotions is nothing new in the writing world, offering a series that is interactive—that is letting the readers choose which characters will get the next story—is. Readers who follow my Facebook author page or who connect with me through the book club page will get to vote on story lines, choose covers, and maybe even name a character or two. I truly want this series to be reader centric and reader driven.

And finally, I want to give back to my readers. Any Southern lady knows if guests show up, you offer sweet tea and a slice of pie. While I wish I could actually do that, I think I’ve come up with an acceptable substitute. Readers who sign up for newsletter alerts will be getting several special surprises. I don’t want to tell too much, but there are several plans in the works to give readers inside information on the books as well as specially written short stories and character backstories that cannot be found anywhere else.

Beyond promoting FIREFLY SUMMER and the Pies, Books & Jesus Book Club series, including the upcoming novella AUTUMN SKYE (releasing October 2016 in The Boy Next Door collection) and the 2016 novel tentatively titled SPRING FLING, I want to offer an experience to my readers that will be both rewarding and entertaining. So watch my website,, and Facebook author page, for the details! In the meantime, thanks y’all, and happy reading!
Bestselling author Kathleen Y’Barbo is a multiple Carol Award and RITA nominee of more than sixty novels with almost two million copies in print in the US and abroad. A tenth-generation Texan, she has been nominated for a Career Achievement Award as well a Reader’s Choice Award and is the winner of the 2014 Inspirational Romance of the Year by Romantic Times magazine. Kathleen is a paralegal, a proud military wife, and an expatriate Texan cheering on her beloved Texas Aggies from north of the Red River. Connect with her through social media at Sadie’s Secret, a Secret Life of Will Tucker historical romantic suspense novel, is in stores nowas is Firefly Summer, the first in the contemporary Pies, Books & Jesus Book Club!

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