There are tons of articles and sites giving authors advice about how to get their work in the hands of readers. What a lot of them forget to mention is that readers get an author’s book in front of other readers. This is a powerful asset of book clubs.
I don’t care how much social networking you do or how many ads you buy on Facebook. Just like how the writing industry is changing, so has the world of promotion and publicity. Authors and publishers must rely on readers in order to move books. Oh yes. No more is it enough to market to readers but readers actually must help you sell a book for it to have a chance at success. Word of mouth is even more important in the age of ebooks.
So what exactly do book clubs do?
Book clubs open doors you cannot open yourself. They help to build your brand to a higher level, and they can put your name on readers’ lips. Do you realize how many book clubs there are? Do you realize how many clubs have hundreds of members? Some clubs span the entire nation! Can you imagine how powerful it would be if you got just one of the larger book clubs to pick up your book? Imagine your chances if you got many to pick up your book.
But it’s so hard to get a book club to pick up a book.
Stop whining. Some authors complain about how hard it is to get book clubs to pick up their books. Newsflash but the industry is competitive. That doesn’t change when you publish a book. Book clubs are picky because there are so many books fighting for attention. You’re not the only cowgirl or cowboy at this rodeo. It’s good for a book club to have standards. You want a club with a good reputation and one that has standing in the industry. That will help you in the end.
I practice what I preach. My latest novel, The Season of Sin has gotten some good exposure. I owe a lot of that to the book clubs that picked up the novel, enjoyed it, and passed the word. In addition, many book club members are members of several different clubs. That means if they read your book and liked it, they will spread the word to every one of their clubs.
That’s exposure, baby!
Book clubs are powerful because they are full of readers always hungry to find books. They are obsessed with the written word and love to support authors. If a book club picks you up then most likely they will again in the future if they enjoy your work. It’s a long-term advantage you can’t afford to miss.
Whether you feel the book club scene is for you or not, you’d better have some kind of plan on how to get your books in the hands of readers because without readers working alongside you to sell that book, it won’t stand half a chance.
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