The book club market
Book clubs are a great way to gain readers for your self-published work. These clubs can be your source of income while trying to find more publicity and retail outlets to sell your book. Some books clubs have hundreds of members all over the country while others contain a group of maybe 25 people. No matter how small a book club may be, there is potential to make a decent amount of money from sales to one specific group. The great thing about book clubs is that they are constantly searching for and reading new material. This provides an opportunity for you to sell more copies of your self-published book.
Finding the right book club
It may be true that you have a great self-published book on your hands. However, all book clubs are not a good match for certain topics. Instead of contacting any book club that you find, do some research on various groups. This can be done online, at the local library or at community meetings. Some book clubs are very active and have websites that list upcoming events related to the group.
You can use theses websites to learn what kind of material the club covers. Websites and other places that have book club information are also great sources of contact information. Once you have located book clubs that read material similar to your self-published book, make a list of these groups. Be sure to include the names and contact information for members of each book club on your list. This will enable you to personalize your approach to every individual group.
Contact a Leader or Active member
Once you have built a list of book clubs, choose one at a time and contact the leader or member. This can be done with a phone call, standard mail or email stating who you are and providing a brief description of your self-published book. Let the contact person know that you are familiar with his or her book club by stating how certain aspects of the book will appeal to the members. When you make contact with a book club member, include your contact information as well. Also, let the member know that additional material is available upon request.
Send publicity materials to create interest
You will need marketing materials to help you sell your self-published book to groups. This material can include any positive reviews that you have obtained already along with a biography and excerpts from the book. Once you have contacted a book club member, send publicity materials to them immediately. This will help to create more interest in reading your self-published book. The person who receives your publicity materials may even share them with other members at the next book club meeting.
If the material is well-received, you will more than likely be contacted by a member of the book club. You should also make a follow-up call or send and email one week after sending publicity materials. This is done to make sure that the right person received it and also to find out if they are interested in buying copies of your book. If the book club member gives you a positive response, assist him or her with instructions on how to order copies of your self-published book. You may consider sending a complimentary copy prior to completing a bulk order, but this may work against further sales depending on the book club’s interest in your work. It would be discouraging to send a sample copy and then learn that book club members are going to share the work instead of purchasing additional information.
Provide ordering information
Your job as a self-published author is to gain readership and sales. Always provide ordering information to the book clubs that you contact. This can even be done as part of the publicity package. You can include a website where the self-published book is available for purchase on the page where reviews are located. You can also include a separate order form and provide mail-order services. After the initial contact with a book club member, make order information available every time thereafter. As I mentioned earlier, some book clubs are small. However, if you sell your self-published book at $19.99 each to 25 people, you can make up to $500.Useful Extras:
Providing a discount may encourage book club members to purchase your self-published book. Keep in touch with an active member from each book club that you work with. This will enable you to get feedback and some useful quotes to use for publicity. Good quotes and reviews can help you sell more items to other book clubs. Maintaining a relationship with book club members will also enable you to sell work that is published in the future.