Should Indie Authors Approach Book Clubs?


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It’s an area most indie authors ignore when promoting their work, and it’s a shame because many readers love to connect with authors. Whether it’s on social media, podcasts or live and in person, readers want to know more about the people behind the books they enjoy.  Made popular by the suburban housewife, book clubs are everywhere and not only that, there are book clubs in schools, libraries and even prisons.

There are two routes you can go, approach an online book club or make an arrangement to meet with them live and in the flesh. It’s really up to you but I would recommend starting online and as you become more comfortable then, meet up with a group in your area.

Finding Book Clubs Online

It’s easy finding book clubs online because they’re pretty much everywhere but not all are author friendly. So here are a few places I found that offer to facilitate a phone or online get together with readers.

P.S. don’t forget to check out Goodreads, Shelfari and LibraryThing as they have many groups that would love to hear from an author. Again, just make sure the group is author friendly before approaching.

  • Readers Circle (International) make sure to click list your book
  • BookBundlz has both free and paid services but I would just use the free one since their website doesn’t seem to get much traffic.
  • Skype has a program called Skype in the Classroom which offers free skyping to schools with an author.

Finding Book Clubs Offline

Many authors start off by meeting book clubs at their local libraries, I know the main branch where I live host lots of writer and reader events. It’s worth checking to see if your local library has an author program or book club.

Here are a few library databases as well as a few book club directories.

Libraries in the U.S.:

Libraries 411

Public Libraries

Libraries In the U.K. 

Find a Library

Canadian Library Database

LibWeb

Offline Book Clubs

  • The Loft Literary Center: Here you can post a community bulletin asking groups if they’ll host you like this author did here.
  • Book Clubs on MeetUp.com
  • Authors who are willing to travel can add their name to this database.  Hat tip to Galley Cat on MediaBistro.

Take Heed:

Remember, when approaching a book club be polite and explain why your book would be a good fit for their club. Just suggest your book and let them know you’re available to do a personal appearance. It would be helpful if you could compare your book to something they’ve heard of, if that’s possible.

Also, keep in mind these are readers so no hard selling, it’s annoying and it may bite you in the butt down the road when they decide to give you bad reviews just based on the way you behaved.

So there you have it another book promotional hack you can actually use.  Stay tuned for next week’s post when I talk about researching promotional sites.

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