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Book Clubs - is there still life in the book once it's read?

(16 Posts)
EJMack Mon 18-Jul-11 19:52:33

I'm a new indie author (a new career after raising two boys) trying to find ways to reach my audience. Girlfriends all think book clubs could be the way forward - what do you think? once a book is read is it forgotten or does word of mouth kick in (assuming it's any good)? would this be a worthwhile promo route or do you prefer to stick to the big guns (i.e. major publishing houses)?

CoteDAzur Mon 18-Jul-11 22:53:30

It depends on the kind of book you intend to write.

Books that are superficial, brain-dead, and dull but touching on a somewhat feminine subject like Memory Keeper's Daughter and 1000 Splendid Suns do have a niche in book clubs. IMHO, this is because they give women the illusion that they are reading a good book and make them feel good about themselves.

If you will be writing anything else, I wouldn't count much on book clubs.

EJMack Tue 19-Jul-11 22:34:54

so you're saying intelligent book reading women don't like to be challenged by the darker side of the human psyche? have you had a bad book club experience??

Lightshines Tue 19-Jul-11 22:50:02

CoteDAzur - your post is patronising on so many levels
EJMack - word of mouth does kick in (a good example is 'Into the Darkest Corner' which was recommended here on MN), however I don't think you are going to achieve anything like the Shawshank effect relying on book clubs alone

EJMack Tue 19-Jul-11 22:57:16

thanks for that Lightshines - the book is available on amazon, smashwords, lulu etc plus pages on goodreads etc but am finding it hard to reach my audience directly. am expecting online reviews come august, just wondered whether the cost of supplying paperbacks to bookclubs was worth it..

Lightshines Tue 19-Jul-11 23:06:46

interesting idea about supplying books to book clubs - does that work as a business model? I would have thought it would have been very expensive.
I am in several book groups, all with slightly different interests and preferences. Books read are almost always fiction, with the occasional biography/autobiography thrown in.
can you link to your book? (I am curious - so that is a good start!!)

EJMack Tue 19-Jul-11 23:39:49

this is a great start :D
this is the problem, as a self-published author supplying paperbacks is hugely expensive! trying to work out if it is at all worth the outlay.. ebook link is paperback here:
not trying to get you to buy :D just a way for you to find more info...

Lightshines Wed 20-Jul-11 01:02:28

OK, done, downloaded. At 99p it doesn't matter if I hate it!!
Book has good reviews on Amazon, always a good pointer for me.
Assuming you did not write them all yourself grin looks like you are already getting positive feedback.
Suggest you carry on doing what you are doing - making potential readers aware of your book via the Internet.
If I like it, I will tell folk

CoteDAzur Wed 20-Jul-11 09:02:55

EJ - I'd like to think that intelligent women who love reading do like to be challenged by the dark side. As a fan of J G Ballard, I'd like to think I am one such woman.

My point was about women's book clubs in general: If you look at "book club books" talked about and passed between these clubs, they are (1) relatively light reads, and (2) they touch (albeit superficially) on a subject that can be talked about at the book club meeting, like adoption, Down Syndrome, battered women, or the holocaust. It doesn't seem to matter that they are dumbed down and badly written.

I looked at your book on Amazon. Is it like "The Talented Mr Ripley"?

From a purely business perspective, if I were to write about the darker side of the human psyche, I would not deliberately market it to women readers and would go for something other than a soft feminine face of a young woman on the cover.

CoteDAzur Wed 20-Jul-11 09:08:46

Lightshines - If you don't terribly mind, I will continue to give my opinion hmm

If you have another explanation for the success and Bestseller status of "book club books" such as Memory Keeper's Daughter and The Book Thief, I would like to hear it.

EJMack Wed 20-Jul-11 09:30:53

Lightshines - wow, that's great! thanks so much for giving it a punt! let me know what you think smile
Cote D'Azur - that's interesting, what you say about book club reads being about a subject that can be discussed. that would make sense. as for marketing it to women, i'm still finding this a real toughie - it's been really popular with men but the protagonist, and therefore the person whose psyche we delve into, is a woman in her 30's. its a very emotional book, rather than a dark, murderous thriller. as for the cover - having to find something copyright free is always a challenge.
Like 'The Talented Mr Ripley' - in a similar vein, yes - i hadn't thought of that believe it or not. smile

EJMack Wed 20-Jul-11 09:37:12

Lightshines - to write your own reviews on amazon you'd have to have an account for each name i'm pleased to report - so you can be pretty sure each review is legitimate smile

looblylu Sun 31-Jul-11 19:59:36

EJ - I really like the sound of your book but i dont have a kindle and i dont have room for any more paperbacks at the moment! i use a sony PSR505 for 99% of my reading these days since there just isnt anywhere left to squeeze in any more books!

Is the book available in any other digital formats? I'd love to buy a copy.

EJMack Mon 15-Aug-11 11:51:44

Hi loobylu. Sorry it's taken me so long to reply - holidays got in the way, lucky me. Yes, it's available on all digital formats.... try here: if you still don't have any luck let me know but do hope you manage to download, read and enjoy grin

Lightshines Thu 22-Sep-11 14:08:42

Just came back to say I have read '25 Random Facts' - downloaded onto my Kindle for 99p.

Easy enough read with strong, page-turning story. If you like mystery drama with a bit of a twist, you will probably enjoy it - nothing gory but interesting plot, lots of intrigue.

Great debut!

EJMack Thu 22-Sep-11 15:53:21

thanks so much for the comments - glad you enjoyed it! next book in the works as we speak...

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