It’s launch day for Book the Writer, a web site that, for a fee, arranges for authors to visit New York City book groups discussing their work. I’m excited to be included on a most illustrious list of novelists, poets, biographers, memoirists and journalists who are available for these visits.
In a world that seems less and less interested in treating writing as real work -- you know, the kind you get paid for -- Book the Writer's business model could represent a new avenue of support for the arts. (Or, actually, a version of an old model: the salons of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, where patrons entertained their friends with the clever conversation of artists whose work they supported financially.)
Will twenty-first-century book groups pay to talk with writers? Time will tell. Meanwhile, I encourage you all to browse at the site. At the very least, you'll get some great ideas for your next book group selection.
Many thanks to novelist Jean Hanff Korelitz, the brains behind Book the Writer, for setting up the site and inviting me to participate. I’m looking forward to discussing Among the Janeites with new readers.