This post, by Jenna Blum, originally appeared on grub street daily on 12/22/11.
Just when you thought it was safe to visit book clubs by phone and therefore wander around in your underwear drinking wine while you talk to readers…..now there’s SKYPE!
I find Skype miraculous. Every time I use it, I think of my dad, who died in 1999. How amazed he would be that you can talk to people through your computer screen! It’s so space-age. So Jetsons. Yet another way to bring us all closer together. How can you not love that? I can be in Wichita, Duluth, Boston–and have a book club literally in my lap. (That didn’t sound quite right. What I meant was, I use my laptop for Skypeing, and I often hold it….oh, never mind.)
Even still, the prudent writer will benefit from certain ground rules about Skypeing with readers. I have learned these rules through painful, inadvertently exhibitionist trial-and-error. I will share them with you.
A gift. Use as you wish.
JENNA’S RULES FOR SKYPEING WITH BOOK CLUBS
10. GET YOUR YA-YAs OUT. It may take you some time to get used to seeing yourself on the screen. And even if you hide yourself during the book club (yes, there is a link that allows you to do this), remember, THEY CAN SEE YOU. So get your ya-yas out beforehand. Find and strike that perfect pose.
9. I personally would go with your SMART AUTHOR POSE, the one that has a disembodied hand in it a la most author photos. Glasses help, too, even if you don’t really need them and they are just for show.
8. GET DRESSED. Again, THEY CAN SEE YOU. So don’t get caught like this: