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How to Get Local Book Clubs to Be Your Super Fans


I recently moved and to say that I handled it in an organized and productive process would be grossly inaccurate. Instead, I alternated between running around in a Dr.Pepper-infused panic attack, stuffing things furiously into garbage bags and boxes AND curling into a ball on my bed and taking three hour naps.

The naps, shockingly, did not diminish the workload at all.

One big issue with my move was my books. Across thirty titles and foreign translations, I was looking at thousands of books and nowhere to put them in my new house.

My problem revealed an interesting solution when I called my local library to discuss donating the titles. They had a unique (and better!) solution that might be of interest to you: Book Club Kits.

Each library has different requirements, but for my local library, they asked for 10-20 paperback copies of a title in order to create a book club kit. The kit allows a local book club to all read a book at a certain time. Most libraries don’t have a lot of kits available, so the chance of your kit being used is high!

I assembled 10 kits of 5 titles and *whoosh* – 100 of my extra books were taken care of. Not only that, the idea of local book clubs reading my book filled me with lots of hope and happiness.

Warning: If you do this, prepare yourself for local readers staring at you in stunned and excited silence as you pass on the street.

If you do go down this path, here’s some extra tips to maximize the opportunity:

  • Sign the books with a handwritten note. Something like “from one Key West local to another – I hope you enjoy!” with your name legibly signed underneath.

  • Direct them to your website. If you don’t have book club questions in the back of your book, print out a label and stick it on the inside or back cover, directing them to a place on your website where you offer free book club resources.

  • Create book club resources. It doesn’t take much, but offering book club resources will go a long way in convincing readers to pick your book over a different one. You can create whatever you like, but here are some ideas:

    • a list of discussion questions (this one is a must!)

    • a bonus epilogue

    • deleted scene(s)

    • a list of fun trivia about the book or characters

    • the story of how you got the idea for the plot

    • an offer to meet their club via Zoom or in person

  • Ask the library if you can include a letter. Some will allow you to include a letter with the kit. Laminate it so that it will last, and on that letter pitch your book to them, share your appreciation for their time, include any local connection(s) that exist, and include your book club questions or direct them to your website for the club resources.

    To get started, just call your local library and ask if there’s someone you can speak to about donating some books for a book club. Ask what their requirements are and the best way to arrange delivery.

    Donating books for local book clubs is a fantastic way to increase word-of-mouth and exposure on a local level. Local readers are more likely to recommend your book, discuss it with others, and buy another book from you.

    But… don’t forget my prior warning! Now might be the time to invest in sunglasses and an autograph pen. ◡̈

    P.S.  If you are interested in more marketing ideas, check out the brand new, in-depth marketing classes in our 2024 lineup.  Join us in Dallas or online!