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.

© Copyright 2006-2011 Madeline Smoot. All rights reserved.
May be excerpted and duplicated for educational purposes.