(1) $5 Amazon gift card
(1) ebook copy of the WATCH “RWISA” WRITE Anthology
NOTE: This is a replay from a past block party that was held. The interview has been freshened up a bit. Enjoy!
Good Morning! My name is Natasha Know-It-All and I’m a reporter with the Raving Review News. Today, we have tracked down the extremely busy, President & Founder of RAVE REVIEWS BOOK CLUB, Nonnie Jules. We asked if she could spare a few moments for a quick Q&A and surprisingly, to our delight, she said “YES!” Although she has limited this to only a 6 question and answer session, we’re happy to have that! Any little bone she’s willing to throw at us, we’re willing to chase it! Ms. Jules rarely gives interviews so sit back, relax and take it all in! Here is her take on quality vs quantity.
Natasha: Hello, Ms. Jules! Sharing that I’m so excited to be sitting down with you today would be a great understatement! I am ecstatic, so thank you, thank you, thank you for this opportunity!
Nonnie: Oh, you’re very welcome. ‘Tis my pleasure to chat with you, as well.
Natasha: OK, I know how busy you are, so let’s get right down to business. I’ve just a few questions that came to me last night while doing my research for this sit-down. I have followed your organization since its inception and if I can remember correctly, at one point, your membership was well over 600. Can you tell us why you’re membership is less than that today?
Nonnie: I’d love to share that with you, Ms. Know-It-All…or, would you prefer that I call you Natasha?
Natasha: Natasha would be fine, thank you (rolling her eyes).
Nonnie: Great! When I started RRBC our membership was FREE. At that time, we were pushing heavily the fact that when you added your name to our roster, every other member on the roster was strongly encouraged to #follow you on social media. It got to the point that folks were joining us simply to grow their following. It was disheartening to know that there were unscrupulous people out there who would go to such lengths, but, we quickly learned there were.
They would come on board, do absolutely nothing for the club or within the club, show no support for their fellow members and then they’d leave. When I’d had enough of these characters, we decided that we would begin charging a fee for membership – a small one, but one nonetheless. I knew that this would weed out the riff-raff from the serious authors and readers who wanted to truly belong to a community of support, so our fee of $25/annually was instated. We received many email messages from members (new and old) who said they would gladly spend more for all that they were receiving and all the opportunities being offered here.
Believe it or not, we still have those today who choose not to renew their membership. It’s the same show, different characters. A great majority of them, just like the ones of old, did absolutely nothing within the club, didn’t support others, didn’t participate in anything – didn’t get involved at all. Then, they looked around one day and noticed that no one was purchasing or reading their books. Some didn’t even realize that their books were no longer in the catalog due to their non-compliant status. We always say that what you put in here is what you’ll get out. If you do nothing, you’ll probably get a huge sack full of nothing in return.
Natasha: OK. Were you disappointed to see your numbers fall?
Nonnie: (Laughing) Not at all, Natasha! Actually, I was excited! I’m all about quality and not quantity. I’m not the author who wants to be known for writing many books; I’m the author who wants to be known for writing GREAT books, and if that is only ONE great book, I’m happy with that! All organizations go thru changes in membership and if you’ve ever belonged to any, you would know that this kind of change is typical. I want only the best in my organization and if that means I have only 10 great members as opposed to 100 bits of riff-raff on my roster, I’d be extremely happy with the 10!
Natasha: It’s pretty evident that you have some folks who have been with you for quite some time. Why do you think they stick around?
Nonnie: I have a great many board members, ex-board members, and members who have been here for a very long time, some since day one. These authors/members realize the importance of community and if you ask them, they’ll tell you that they’ve never found anything like RRBC before. Authors supporting one another instead of competing against each other? That’s unheard of! (Well, at least it was until we popped onto the scene – now we see tons patterning their clubs after ours). But, support is what we do and it is why our core of supportive members remain. AND, they also see the great benefits to membership here…and those benefits are numerous and all GRAND!
Natasha: Would you mind sharing the names of some of those awesome members you speak of above? We’d like to get to know them ourselves!
Nonnie: Of course! Shirley Harris-Slaughter, Beem Weeks, Joy Nwosu Lo-Bamijoko, Wendy Scott, Jan Sikes, and John Fioravanti have been with the club for quite some time and are always willing and ready to jump in whenever they are called upon. I can’t leave without mentioning some of our other awesome-tastic members, as well: Peggy Hattendorf, Marlena Smith, D. L. Finn, Mary Adler, Bette A. Stevens, Karen Ingalls, Rhani D’Chae, Linda Mims, Yvette Calleiro, Karl Morgan, Harriet Hodgson, Patricia Guthrie, Bernard Foong, Ron Yates, Susanne Leist, and every member of our uber-supportive TWEET SUPPORT TEAMS. I also can’t leave without sending a great big shout-out to those especially supportive newer members (Forrest Stepnowski, Fiza Pathan, Charles Jones, Randall Krzak, Mark Bierman), and so many deserving others that I’m sure I’ve failed to mention (but you know who you are, and I want you to say so down below!)
Natasha: Well, OK! That’s quite a list! What makes these members stand out from some of your past members who you would tag as riff-raff?
Nonnie: Natasha, these members stand out in my mind because they are so supportive of everyone else and they understand the community in our community. They are the ones whom you’ll find participating in almost every club event and the first ones in line to read fellow member books. If you’re on a blog tour, you can find them at the door waiting, even before your tour begins (and you don’t have to even offer a giveaway for most of them to follow along), and they make themselves known around RRBC, engaging with their fellow members. That engagement is one of the most important factors in having a successful membership within RRBC. Our supportive members have to really know you to throw the full weight of their support behind you, so don’t just slap your name on our roster, put your books in our catalog and then expect to be supported in grand fashion. It doesn’t work that way here. When you give even just a little, you get so much more in return!
Natasha: Everyone knows you’re a no-holds-barred kind of person. Does it bother you that you are perceived as such, or do you not mind that label at all?
Nonnie: I’m not a label-person, Natasha, and sticks and stones…right? I learned long ago that I cannot control the actions and thoughts of other people, so I don’t even try. Anyone who follows me anywhere knows that I don’t live my life based on how I am perceived by others, or what others might think of me. If you like me, great! If you don’t, well, that’s your problem…I love me! And, me loving me is all that matters. There are too many people who live their lives based on the feelings of others, and when you live that way, you can’t truly be happy. I mean, if someone is angry with you, you can’t sleep; if someone doesn’t like you, you can’t eat; if someone isn’t your friend, you have a bad day. Let me make this crystal clear: I sleep, eat and have great days so I guess it’s safe to say I’m not in that category of people. I have always said and will go to my grave with this: I will never give anyone that kind of power over my life. For those of you who have relinquished your power to others, take it back. It’s not at all worth it in the end.
Natasha: Well, that wraps up this interview! I wish we had more time with you, Ms. Jules, but we do understand that any moment away from the RRBC corporate offices, is a moment lost on supporting your membership, and we wouldn’t want that. Any final words?
Nonnie: Natasha, thanks for the interview…I really enjoyed it! I’d like to thank everyone who is following along and partying with us in our block party this month! Be sure to leave a comment below to get entered into the drawing for the prize giveaway. Also, don’t forget to visit the lineup to follow along with the remainder of the tour or any of the awesome stops you may have missed.
If you haven’t joined RRBC, ask yourself “What am I waiting for? Am I being truly supported out here alone or with these other clubs who offer more lip service than actual service?” I assure you, the sooner you take the leap, the better off you’ll be with the power of RRBC standing behind you!
HAVE YOU REGISTERED FOR THE HOLIDAY POP-UP BOOKSHOP YET?