Book Clubs
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Does anyone have suggestions for connecting with book club or library organizations that recommend books to their member clubs? Can anyone share book club contacts to whom an author or publisher might send a book and discussion questions? Any other tips? Thanks!
  • You're right that libraries would be more sympathetic to local authors, and so should local bookstores. I only suggest an explanation for some of the unresponsiveness the person mentioned.

    As to other book clubs and libraries, these things are no different that social media. You have to approach them as a person first, let them get to know you, then come to them as an author. Maybe the best way otherwise is to donate books. I like that idea.

  • My experience with the libraries and book clubs in my area has been very different from what you describe, Michael. They all were happy to carry my book and share that information with the book clubs they sponsor. One even includes it as a book-in-a-bag for book clubs specifically (I donated two copies toward that end). Our libraries seem to see connecting local authors with local readers as part of their mission. Quite a few do local author events to introduce us to the community. I've been welcomed by local book clubs, too--I'm doing one tonight. What I'm wondering is how to connect with clubs nationally, especially through organizations that market to them, without paying big fees. If anyone has had experience with more than local connections, let us know! And if your library doesn't have a "local author" shelf, you might donate a copy to get one going!

  • I'm sure that book clubs and libraries are inundated with requests from self-published and small-press-published authors to read their books. Contacting them directly and asking them to read your book is not going to work. You might as well be a telemarketer.

    I suggest an author join the book club, be active, get to know the people, and contribute to the group. Don't mention that you are an author. Their defenses will go up. After you've been a member for at least several months, maybe give a copy to one of the members you get a long with. Let her bring it up as a book to read. If she doesn't like it, or thinks it's not appropriate, then that's that. Don't mention it again.

    But I don't see any benefit to hounding clubs and libraries. There are literally millions of authors doing that, and they don't like it. If you do decide to contact them, I suggest doing so by sending a free copy of the book. They will be able to tell by looking at the cover and reading the first two sentences whether you know how to write, and whether it would be a good book to read.

  • I would love to know more about making contact with book clubs. I emailed a flyer to local libraries months ago, but didn't get any responses. I think I need to visit as many as I can and hand them each a book and a one-sheet and hope that the personal approach works.

  • This is tough. I've had a little success, but not a lot. My local library, unfortunately, has different people handling book groups at each individual branch rather than a central point-person. I called several branches. Most were not interested or had chosen the books a year in advance. They also required that at least a dozen copies of the book were available at the library -- that means bestsellers! Finally, I found one leader who let me come to an open meeting of her group where each member was going to share a favorite book. I was able to present and chat about each of my books. It was fun, and though it was only about ten women, as least I knew the people I connected with were real readers! :-) I didn't send a book in advance, but did a drawing for one with the group once I was there. Took some time and tenacity. And I still have no idea if they will ever choose one of my books to read.

  • I'd like to know the answer to this question, as well. I have come across, but they seem to just want to sell you ads.

    Has anyone used these folks?