Author Courts Book Clubs And Boosts Sales

Alone in his car, on a dark Denver street, John Shors is calling a woman he doesn't know, about to speak to a living room full of women.

The women are gathered around the speakerphone because Shors is the guest of honor, CBS News The Early Show co-anchor Harry Smith reports. Their book club is getting a rare treat: A one-on-one conversation with the author whose book they just finished reading.

Shors is quite the ladies' man. This is the third book club of the day. He called a group in Illinois during lunch, joined a group of sorority sisters for dinner in Denver, and finds himself now in his car, with women in California on the phone.

Shors is the author of "Beneath A Marble Sky," a romantic novel about the building of the Taj Mahal. The book got decent reviews, but didn't sell much until he added a note to the paperback edition.

"I came up with the idea of putting the letter in the back of the paper back, with my e-mail address, and inviting book clubs to invite me to their evenings," Shors explains.

That was 200 book clubs ago.

"I started getting inundated, and now I am getting 5 or 6 requests a day," Shors says. "I'm booking out til '08."

"Beneath The Marble Sky" is written from the perspective of a princess and tells the tale of her forbidden love. He's writing the book about a woman, from the first person.

"Yeah, it was difficult writing from the first person as a 17th century Indian princess for a guy from Iowa, but it was just sheer perseverance and stubbornness," Shors says.

That same perseverance and stubbornness is driving sales of about 1,000 a week. Shors simply refused to let a book he spent five years writing, die on the shelf.

"I'm just trying to do my tiny small part to make reading fun again, on a group level. And this is what I can do to do that so I'm trying," Shors says. Getting famous from it is "a nice fringe benefit," he adds.

His wife and family don't seem to mind. They know it's going to take time, but daddy may have found a new way to the best-seller list.