Recently I read a post about having your book chosen for a book club. Written by agent Kristin Nelson for the agency blog, the post discussed the dreams of authors hoping to land a spot on a Big Name club like Reese Witherspoon’s or the Good Morning America book club.
When clubs like these choose a book, it is instant publicity. But if the book is brand new, it means that the publisher was instrumental. Book clubs tend to plan ahead which means that the publisher sent out ARCs or Advanced Reader Copies.
Something that authors should keep in mind is that there are a lot of smaller book clubs. I’m in a club formed by members of my church. I started attending when my son was a toddler because I wanted to read books written for an adult audience. We just made up our list for 2023 but the joy of it is? We are a smallish group so we are pretty flexible. We could slip a book in and bump things back a month, no problem.
How do we choose our books? Sometimes I make up a list and everyone votes. This isn’t so much “we want these 11 books” as it is “that one doesn’t appeal.” This time everyone recommended two titles. We try to pick books that are available through the local library system as both print and e-books so that anyone who can’t afford to buy 11 books a year can still participate.
What this means for authors is that we don’t tend to read independently published books. Small presses interest us but, again, the books need to be available.
How do other clubs choose their books? I have no idea but I do know that my club has put one book on pause. They are interested in the topic but there wasn’t a readily available book at the library. The author is local as is the publisher. This means that I’m hoping to score a chat with one or both of them for the group. And they are super excited.
What does this mean for authors? Look for book clubs in your area. One of the easiest ways to do this is the search Facebook Events. Message the organizer and ask how they choose their books. Offer to help create a special meeting centered on one of your titles.
Book club members love books. We may not all belong to massive book clubs but we tell other people about books we love. That’s a great way to get your book into people’s hands.