In the summer of 2016, a group of local writers decided to set up a society to help authors market, learn to market, help each other with specific requests and share knowledge. Since the first meeting, the Authors Round Table Society has grown to include 15 members.

The group continues to meet the third Wednesday of every month at 207 West Main in Denison.

“We do help authors with writing, techniques, synopsis, and more,” group co-founder James William Peercy of Denison said. “Marketing plays a big role because that is the area most groups are the weakest in. We tend to focus on what the group at the moment needs.”

He said that it is important for authors of self-published works and indie published works to have a community to share stories and experiences.

“Writing is basically a solo activity,” Peercy said. “Because of this, authors tend to feel they are alone in the process. It can feel completely overwhelming. Also, so many companies out there try to feed off the insecurity of authors by presenting their wares for a fee. Our goal is to help new authors get off the ground, make money for themselves, and be able to achieve their desire. We do not charge membership fees. Any donations to a particular project is completely voluntary. This year, we are creating an anthology to help fund the group. If plans go well, there will be many other anthologies.”

Other group members include co-founder John Moody, Claudette Peercy, Natalie Bauman, Terri Malek, Jackie E. Smith, Rita Holcomb and Alan J. Martin.

“John Moody was the first to be knighted in our group and Terri Malek was the second,” Peercy said. “We hope to knight more in February. Though there are other factors involved, we have a basic protocol to be knighted. A person must have a published book through indie, small press, or one of the big five and be actively seeking ways to promote their book as an example to others. We also plan to have a squire ceremony in 2018 for those in the group aspiring to get their printed book out.”

The group recently attended the holiday bazaar held at Midway Mall in Sherman.

“We do a group presentation at events,” Peercy said. “We tend to have a book reading event each year where authors come together, read a portion of their book, and allow those interested to purchase them. We also participate in various events for downtown Denison and the Texoma area. We are working toward an Authors Round Table Society weekend event that focuses on books, authors and reading. Our next event is planned for Fan Expo Dallas at the Dallas Convention Center April 6-8.”

There is no age restriction or membership dues to join the group. Peercy said that the idea for the round table society is about learning to reach your potential and having fun while doing it.

“Caring is the key factor in anything we do,” he said. “I knew this long before starting the group. If a reader knows you care about them, they care about you. It is not just about selling books or selling services. It is letting the reader know they are important, and you are giving them something of yourself, something special.”

Ninety percent of the brand recognition, Peercy said, is the author.

“Make it a personal brand, not an impersonal brand,” he said. “Talk with your readers. Listen to them. Enjoy their company. It makes all the difference. Make it fun. Sitting behind a table staring at your cellphone does not engage readers. It means you are disinterested and have nothing to show. Stand up, engage and show them the excitement of what you believe in. It makes all the difference.”

In the future, the Authors Round Table Society hopes to provide more forums to help authors to learn through training on how to present themselves to readers.

“An author is his/her own brand, regardless of the books they are selling,” Peercy said. “Getting to know an author personally is exciting for both the author and reader.”

For more information, visit the Authors Round Table Society Facebook page. The group will launch its website in April.