Have you dreamed about your book being discussed by a book club, bringing a community of readers closer, and inspiring lively conversations? Authors don’t write just to have their book sitting on a dusty shelf, and book clubs are a great way to get your work out there. Keep reading to learn how to market your book to book clubs.
Finding Book Clubs
In the long run, it’s worth it to present your book to all kinds of book clubs, but to start with, search for book clubs that focus on the same genre of your book. As far as finding clubs, look to the usual suspects on the internet: Facebook, Goodreads, MeetUp, Reddit, and Google. You should also try out the LibraryThing site, which has a section specifically for groups.
Look in local or neighborhood newsletters, ask at public libraries, or search their websites; at community centers, schools, and local bookstores. If your book is faith-based ask at churches. Some bookstores recommend book club picks, so ask how you could get your book on their list. You could even start your own book groups with your friends or even at your workplace.
Many book clubs already have a list of books they’re planning to read, so don’t be discouraged if it takes a while. This means that even if your book isn't published yet, you should still start researching and laying the groundwork to get noticed and picked up by a book club. However, this is definitely one area where it’s never too late to start.
Marketing to Book Clubs
Now you need to gain the interest of book club members. The goal is to make your book sound irresistible, and there are many ways to do this.
- Develop a discussion guide for book clubs to use and make it easy for them to access. Offer it in downloadable form on your author website. If you self-publish with IngramSpark you can publish a version with the discussion guide in the back. Or if you don’t want to print another run, you could print up the questions and stick it in the back.
- Offer to talk or facilitate discussion at a meeting, either virtually or in person
- Make a “book me” page on your website, featuring a video of you introducing and promoting yourself for book clubs
- Offer incentives to book club organizers and members:
- A discount on the books
- A free digital copy for the organizer or as a prize for one member
- Freebies like bookmarks, stickers, and related swag
You should also talk about how great book clubs are on social media and your website. If you have the funds, advertising on sites for book clubs is a great option. Here are just a few of the options: ReadingGroupGuides, Book Movement, and Fresh Fiction Silent Book Club.
Once your book is chosen for a book club, don’t forget to send a thank-you gift, at least to the book club organizer. Some of the freebies or swag mentioned above would be perfect for expressing your gratitude.
We’ll leave you with one last tip: Persevere. This doesn’t happen right away; book clubs probably already know what they’re reading next. So keep posting your book club-focused content and keep reaching out to people. Even making a book club organizer aware of your book increases word of mouth, because they're in a community of book lovers. If your book is picked, you will have greatly increased your network.