Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Writing 101: What You Can Do with Book Clubs

Book clubs are used by readers who want to get together and talk about what they’re reading. But authors can’t afford to overlook these casual clubs. Indie authors should start using them at every possible opportunity. Do it, and you could sell more books and get lots more readers.

The Ends and the Means

For this exercise, convince yourself of two things. First, you are an amazing writer and everyone ought to read your stuff or they are missing out. And second, you are incredibly assertive. You will need both the confidence and the strength, or you may not get anywhere at all. But if you can believe these things, you can start promoting yourself to book clubs in a whole lot of different ways.

  • Hi, I’m Jade: Find local book clubs close to where you live. You can locate them through Facebook often. Keep an eye out when you go to public places as well. Book clubs often advertise in gyms and at grocery stores. Contact these clubs and offer to join a meeting as a guest speaker, or to offer electronic copies of your book for free if they would like to select your book to read. Offer to host a club meeting for them if you have a place to do so. Make sure all your books are on display when you host the meeting -- maybe not overtly, but clearly enough. Reach out personally to these clubs, promoting yourself as a local author, and see what happens.
  • Look, We’re Connected: Get online. Many, many book clubs no longer physically meet each other. They can just as easily get together in online chats, through Skype or on forums. Start looking for clubs that match your genres and writing style, and start reaching out to them. You can just as easily offer to speak to these groups, or write a stirring forum post about books. 
  • I’m Here, See: Don’t be humble anymore. If you’re on Goodreads and you see some forum book club looking for nominations, nominate yourself. Offer up your book, keep offering it up and don’t stop. Be ready to give it to a book club whenever they want it, and don’t be afraid to ask them if they want it. 

Find the book clubs, and start courting them. Be personable. Be confident. Be brimming with free books. If you do it enough, some club somewhere will accept your book as their reading choice. Do yourself a favor, and sit in on their discussion if they’ll let you, or offer to do an author Q&A. This will give you feedback about your book, and that’s something all writers need. If any of the people in that club like your book and tell even one friend outside the book, you may make another sale. That’s free advertising, and that’s why you need to use the book clubs when you can.

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