December 13, 2021

A Suite T Nostalgic Moment : "How To Sell A Pie" by Kathleen Y'Barbo



Wednesday, 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 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!

UPDATE 2021 

Publishers Weekly Bestselling author Kathleen Y’Barbo is a multiple Carol Award and RITA nominee and bestselling author of more than one hundred books with over two million copies of her books in print in the US and abroad. A tenth-generation Texan and certified paralegal, she is a member of the Texas Bar Association Paralegal Division, Texas A&M Association of Former Students and the Texas A&M Women Former Students (Aggie Women), Texas Historical Society, Sisters in Crime, Faith Hope & Love writers, and the American Christian Fiction Writers. She would also be a member of the Daughters of the American Republic, Daughters of the Republic of Texas and a few others if she would just remember to fill out the paperwork that Great Aunt Mary Beth has sent her more than once.

Kathleen and her hero in combat boots husband have their own surprise love story that unfolded on social media a few years back. They make their home just north of Houston, Texas and are the parents and in-laws of a blended family of Texans, Okies, and a family of three adorable Londoners.

To find out more about Kathleen or connect with her through social media, check out her website at

Since this article was written in 2015, the third book in the Pies, Books & Jesus Book Club series—renamed THE YES DARE—is out, and a fourth book (not yet titled) is in the works with a spring 2022 release date. I never did publicize the book club page for this series because I found I got more interest from speaking to actual book clubs and communicating via newsletters and social media (Instagram is my new favorite).

In addition to this series, I am also working on a project to get my older books back into print, including the 20th Anniversary Special Edition Novellas that celebrate my 20th anniversary of becoming a published author and my Louisiana-based books (Bayou Nouvelle series). Sign up to receive my newsletter here and you will always be the first to see what is next!

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