private page for back room presenters

Thank you so much for joining us in the Back Room

Our audience is evenly split between readers and aspiring and published writers, so it’s always an interested and engaged group. Because our format allows attendees to interact with you directly, we promise you’ll make many new fans!


Quick Contact

If you have any questions, please reach out to one of your hosts, Hank Phillippi Ryan or Karen Dionne.

For any technical issues during the event, email tech support at [email protected].

You can also text Tom directly at: 339-927-1281.

Event Preparation

1. immediately: fill out the Author Intake Form

This information is used to update our website and to introduce you during the event. Our marketing team will also use your responses to promote your event on our website, social media, and newsletter.

2. One week before: Promote the event to your fans

Once we've received everyone's intake forms, we'll prepare graphics to promote your event. Your answers also allow us to tag you in our posts so that you can re-share.

If you wish to create your own Facebook, Instagram or X posts, you can download the social media graphics for your event from the link at the right. We've also included suggested wording as well as your fellow panelists' handles so that you can tag everyone.

The Back Room has a large and loyal following thanks to our unique, interactive format, but we know that your fans would love this opportunity to chat with you in real-time as well!

3. Before the event

We strongly recommend installing the Zoom app on the device you plan to use prior to the event. Authors who Zoom through their internet browser have occasionally had audio and visual issues.

If you need help downloading and installing, email our tech team during the week leading up to the event.

Zoom Log in

MEETING ID: 477 800 9268

PASSCODE: backroom

Link will only be active at time of event.

Night of the Event

Our run-of-show overview and suggestions.

6:40 PM | Log In

Please log in at 6:40 PM ET for a sound and video check. Or tech team will put you in the green room so that the authors, hosts, and moderators can meet each other before the show and answer any questions you may have. 

6:55 PM | Move to main room

At 5 minutes before the hour, we’ll all be moved into the main room where attendees are encouraged to have their mics and video on to give everyone a chance to say hello to one another.

7:00 PM | Introduction and questions

As the program begins, attendees’ mics are muted, and the host and authors are spotlighted. After a brief welcome and introductions during which you're encouraged to hold up a copy of the book you're promoting (really! the audience loves this), your host will launch into a quick, round-robin game of fun and easy questions to give the audience a chance to get to know you and to set a relaxed, conversational tone.

7:30 PM | Book recommendations

The host then asks each author one last question: "What book have you read recently that you think everyone should read?" The book can be contempory or classic. Please be prepared to explain BRIEFLY why you loved it.

There’s no need to give a plot summary – your enthusiasm for the book is what’s important.  Our marketing team will have a slide prepared with your book recommendation and its author but if you have a physical copy of the book you can hold up, that’s great.

7:40 PM | Breakout rooms

Authors and attendees are split into 4 breakout rooms, with one author and a moderator assigned to each room. The audience remains in the same breakout room for the rest of the evening, while the authors rotate through each room in turn.

When you join a new room, be sure to introduce yourself and hold up a copy or your book. Not everyone will be familiar with your work, so this is your chance to introduce yourself more fully.

The breakout room moderator assigned to the room is familiar with our format and will help facilitate the discussion, so you will never be left on your own. They will make sure you see any questions that are posted to you in the chat and add their own if the audience is shy.

Authors spend 15 minutes in each room before they are moved into the next. This happens automatically, and you don’t have to do anything.  Just keep in mind that because this happens outside your control, you might get moved while you’re in the middle of a sentence. Watching one author disappear and the next appear is part of the fun, and Back Room regulars love it.

At the 14-minute mark in each breakout room, you’ll get a notice onscreen that says, “One minute left.” This gives you a chance to say goodbye before you’re moved to the next room, since you won’t see these folks again. To avoid ending your remarks too early or getting cut off in the middle of a sentence when you are moved, it’s a good idea to set a timer for one minute so you can track how much time you have left. The moderator will also watch the clock for you.

You will then be automatically moved to the next room to meet a new group, and the process begins again.

By your fourth breakout room, you’ll have what Hank and Karen affectionately call “Back Room brain.” Since you’re essentially doing four mini-events back-to-back, it can be a challenge to remember what you have or haven’t already said. When that happens, don’t worry! The key thing to remember is that you’re speaking to four entirely different audiences. In theory, you could say exactly the same thing in all four rooms and no one would notice. 

8:40 PM | Ending the Event

In your fourth and final breakout room, you will still see the 1-minute warning, but you will not automatically be whisked away. Instead, your moderator will take over the discussion, thanking you and the audience for coming and closing out the evening.

The audience will then leave the meeting. Moderators and authors, however, do not. At the bottom right of your screen, you should click on the “leave breakout room” option to return to the main Zoom room. Please stay on the call until all four authors have returned to the main room, so we know you’re all finished, and no one gets cut off prematurely, and then we’ll say goodnight!