Tuesday, March 13, 2012
GUEST BLOGGER: Building Relationships With Book Clubs by TaNisha Webb
One of the many questions I receive from authors is how to work with book clubs. Can you offer us a few tips for writers trying to build relationships with book clubs?
I always tell authors that they have to stop trying to sell their books to book clubs and instead build a relationship that will last throughout their careers. In order to do this authors should go where book clubs will be present.
Authors should start in they own backyard first. Local book clubs like supporting local authors and its a great way to get the word out about your book locally by word of mouth.
Engaging book clubs in a face to face conversation at literary events can not only help you to get noticed but if they are impressed book clubs will purchase your book as well. This is a great opportunity to inquire about discussing your book at an upcoming book club meeting in person, during a conference call or Skype.
If a book club loves to run their mouths about great books, then that book club can be a great and FREE marketing tool for you as well because they will tell others and also begin pre-ordering your books as well.
If you're unable to attend many events, social networks such as Facebook, Twitter and Goodreads are great to interact with book clubs on a daily basis. Do a search for book clubs and friend or follow them.
Also, look for any opportunities to place your book information in souvenir or advertisement programs at various literary events as this will help you to expose your books without you actually being there.
What I would advice authors NOT to do is send several eblasts out close together. Probably after the 2nd one, the emails will be ignored or the book club will unsubscribe to your newsletter.
Tell us about your book club.
The KC Girlfriends Book Club was established in 2002 by a group of girlfriends. I joined the group in 2003 after I moved to the Kansas City area. We eventually ended up with only 2 members and decided to change the book club where we would meet up in restaurants and placed it back on a local social events calendar to solicit members. We ended up with a total of 41 members within 1.5 years after that. We're currently at a comfortable number of 12 members at this time. We are a National Book Club Conference two time Community Service award recipient as well.
Can you tell us about your two conferences coming up?
The 3rd Annual Fall Into Books Literary Conference will be held in St. Louis, MO, September 14-16, 2012 on the beautiful campus of Saint Louis University right outside of downtown St. Louis. Our featured authors this year is Mary Monroe, Marissa Monteilh, Vanessa Miller, Frances Ray, Moses Miller, E. Lemont Goode Jr., Naleighna Kai, Dr. A'ndrea Wilson, T.L. James, Jo Lena Johnson and Steven Charles Martin. We will also have 10 attending authors.
During Fall Into Books we will have a poetry night at Legacy Books and Cafe, book club and author workshops, panel discussions and author breakout sessions. Participants can also participate in an optional tour on Sunday to the Gateway Arch, Old Courthouse and lunch in the downtown area. Regular registration is $115 and will include full access to the events taking place on the campus of Saint Louis University. Each participant will receive 2 books by our featured authors, an 3rd Annual Fall Into Books tshirt and book bag, and a Bookmark It! Handcrafted Bookmark. Visit http://www.fallintobooks.com/ to register and for more information.
The 2nd Annual Book Club University Online Conference is a 5 hour long online conference for book clubs and book club minded individuals was held on Saturday March 3, 2012 12-5pm CST. The conference was free. Our five presenters this year are book club presidents: Daphney Young, Jacque McNeil, Annette Breedlove, Sonya Ward and myself. We presented a specific book club topic and and answered questions from our participants. We also took questions via Facebook and Twitter throughout the day as well. The conference is done in a webinar setting so the participant can see the PowerPoint presentation or they can just listen in by phone if they are on the go. We also have interviews with authors Victoria Christopher Murray, ReShonda Tate Billingsley and Eric Jerome Dickey this year. You can visit http://www.bookclubuniversity101.net/ for more information.
TaNisha Webb is a well known book club consultant and author of the highly anticipated book club guide The Ultimate Book Club Experience: How to Create & Maintain a Successful Book Club. She is the Publisher and Editor in Chief for Book Club 101 Magazine and the founder of Book Club 101 University, The Black Book Club Experience, and The Ultimate Book Club Experience. TaNisha is also a literary events consultant. She is the founder and coordinator of Fall Into Books Literary Conference and Book Club University Online Conference. She is the owner of Literary-ly Speaking Events & Services and Bookmark It! Handcrafted Bookmarks.
TaNisha Webb is the president of the award-winning KC Girlfriends Book Club and moderator for the “Maximizing Your Book Club Experience” panel discussion for the National Book Club Conference in Atlanta, GA. In 2002, TaNisha earned an Associates of Health Science in Respiratory Care at Newman University in Wichita, KS. TaNisha lives in Kansas City, MO and works as an Environmental Health Coordinator for a children’s hospital. Please visit TaNisha Webb online at: http://www.tanishawebbonline.com/, http://www.bookclub101mag.com/ or http://www.bookclubuniversity101.net/
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