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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TaNisha Webb said...

Thanks for allowing me to be the guest blogger on your website! I appreciate it!

Unknown said...

As a book club officer, reviewer and book club member I have to agree with TaNisha. Of the many reviews Readers Paradise have completed for authors in 6 years we have a handful of authors who reach out to us just to check in or to ask what we're reading and what happening with us.

This ongoing relationship keeps those authors in our heart and on our mind when we start our book selections for the year.

We leave 2 slots open for authors who might reach out to us after we've made our book club selection and we are very picky about who gets that slot.

To name one author whose book we will ALWAYS support is Naleighna Kai, she gives back to Chicago and when she is looking for book club info it seems she checks in with us.

For the last 7 years she has offered Chicago an event that we look forward to each and every year The Cavalcade of Authors.

We are not looking for authors to try to sell us their books but we are looking for lasting relationships.

Authors to join us for meet and greets, to visit our BOTM discussion, or to just hang out with us.

Lastly the eblast emails and agents who are PUSHY about us reviewing a book or those authors or agents who email s PDF's or links to their books unsolicited will NOT get read by Readers Paradise.

TaNisha thanks for your insight it's right on point...This interview just made me more excited about the release of "The Ultimate Book Club Experience: How to Create & Maintain a Successful Book Club"

Thanks LaShaunda as always for what you do for us.

TaNisha Webb said...

Thanks Missy! I totally agree with the points that you made. Authors that approach book clubs to build a relationship will not only leave with a fan but also will gain an extended family! :)

LaShaunda said...

Thank you again TaNisha for this.

Missy, girl I have to copy and paste this for part 2 of building relationships. These were some great tips. I don't want the readers to miss it.

If you want to add more, send to me and include a bio please and I'll will put up as a guest post. - sormag@yahoo.com Thanks :)

TaNisha Webb~ KC Girlfriends Book Club President said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
TaNisha Webb~ KC Girlfriends Book Club President said...

No problem. I also did a youtube video for authors on how to secure BOTM selections and submitting book reviews www.youtube.com/bookclubuniversity

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