Book Clubs

When we talk about marketing books, we often overlook a rather key segment of the book buying population -- book clubs. Whether they are the mother/daughter variety (like the one we're starting at BookPeople), bookstore sponsored (BookPeople has a teen one of those too), school sponsored, or just a group of friends, book clubs are a great word of mouth tool for promoting your book.

So, how do you come to the attention of a book club?
  1. Make the NYT bestseller list.
    All right, I realize this isn't the most practical piece of advice. After all, that's what we're all striving for anyway. But technically, this is a great way for book clubs to notice you.
  2. Have book club materials available.
    I've made book club specific discussion guides for all of the CBAY Books (well, 3 out of 4 -- I'm getting there). A book club has different discussion needs than your classroom setting. Give them their own material and don't make them try to adapt a study guide.
  3. Be available to visit their meetings.
    Now, of course I don't mean that you need to fly across the country to meet with a book club with 3 members. But, you can be available to meet with them via Skype or some other video conferencing service.

And for those of you who aren't published yet, it never hurts to start working on these things for your book too. For one thing, if you do a book proposal it's nice to have this available. And for another thing, it forces you to look at your book in a different way. And that's never a bad thing.


Caroline Starr Rose said...

Having watched the huge success of THE HELP and having recently read Malcolm Gladwell's THE TIPPING POINT (which discusses how word of mouth can turn a book into a bestseller: his example is THE DIVINE SECRETS OF THE YAYA SISTERHOOD), book clubs are a huge market worth looking into.

I'm glad to hear book discussion guides are available for CBAY books. Donna's CHEESE would be a fun group read.

It's exciting to hear the book clubs I was apart of when I lived elsewhere are already putting my Fall 2011 debut on their lists!

The Buried Editor said...

That is exciting about your groups adding your book to their list -- and it does show how powerful all of those little clubs can be.

Natalie Aguirre said...

That's great you have the book discussion guides. I'm going to check them out and think about them for my book (unpublished as of now).

I see with my daughter and her friend how much word of mouth plays into what they read. Book clubs are a great way to get the word out.