Readers Book Clubs Bloggers and How to Find Them
by Yvonne DiVita, Book Whisperer and Author Advisor
Authors write books because they want people to read them. 👀
They're not meant as treasures you don't take down from the shelf and read, again and again. They're not meant as status symbols, though some treat them as such. They're written to connect, to teach, to share, to entertain, to make people laugh, to make them cry. Books are the stories we used to tell around the campfire. They will never go out of favor. ⛺
Yet, one of the first questions or concerns we get at Master Book Building is: Who will read my book? delivered with that squinty-eyed stare people have when they think they've asked you a question you can't answer. 🤨
It's a valid point. Why write a book if there is no one to read it? All the effort for... yourself? 🙄
No. All that effort, time, and investment are worth it because every book has readers. Every book has its place in the library. 🏫
When I say library, I mean any place that holds books, even the bookcase in your living room or office. It's a library. And you have the books there because they mean something to you. 📗📖📚
You are not alone. When I hear folks say, "No one reads, anymore," I just shake my head. Really? 👀
Reading abounds everywhere:
✅We read instructions from IKEA to put together the furniture we bought
✅ We read billboards as we pass by them in the car
✅ We read labels at the grocery store
✅ Even texting requires reading
👉🏻 And we read the kinds of books you write - either digitally or in print. We do read them. 📖
I say we as a member of the reading public. And, in this blog post, I share what that means.
Need some stats to back up my claim that we still read? I have them.
So the total number of new titles being published each year in the US - combining self-published and traditionally published titles - is approximately 3 million. And here is the truly shocking figure: the annual number of new titles published each year has grown by more than ten time in the past sixteen years. 😮
Self-published books count for a good bit of that big number. And while sales have not kept up, the fault lies with the author, always. Even in the traditional publishing world. You, the author, are expected to sell your book. Your publisher will not be doing it for you. ✅
So we return to the question - who is reading these books?
Traditional publishers would not be publishing the number of titles they do if no one was out there to read them. ☑
And, self-published authors are learning the ropes, so to speak. They're understanding that marketing and sales are on them. ☑
Let us agree that anyone who writes a book has a reason for writing it. It's for a person. It's for a group of people. It's meant to do something for the reader. ☑
When we consider that, we have to consider the places these readers hang out. The places they get their books (Amazon is where they buy the book, most generally, but where do they hear of it or find it?) We need to consider how they come about choosing one book or another.
I'm here to say there are myriad ways folks find good books to read. And you need to be exploring them all, to make your book a success. 💥💥💥
Let's start with book clubs. 👇🏻
Where are they? How do you find them? ❓❔❓
Start with your local library. Not just the one around the corner, all of the libraries within a radius of, say, 5 miles. You may find four or five. Each librarian will know if there are book clubs in her area. Many of them may meet right there, at the library. 📚
Visit your social channels. Facebook likely has groups around the idea of book clubs. Explore the ones that suit your work. Be a polite guest and don't push your book on them. Participate in the book they're reading now, and make friends who will be willing to offer your book next month. I would also search Instagram and Pinterest. These are great resources that gather a large number of people in one place. Find your people among them. 🧑🏻🧔🏻👩🏻
Let's move on to bloggers. 👇🏻
You thought blogging was dead, didn't you? How foolish of you. Blogging is alive and well. 💻
According to Techjury, there are over 600 million blogs on the Internet. Holy cannoli! Even I didn't know that. Plus, they say that 77% of Internet users read blogs. (don't forget, often that website you're on, is really a blog) 😮
This is good news for authors. Because bloggers both read and review books. 💛
To give you a leg up on folks who are not Smart News subscribers, I did a Google search on "bloggers who review books" and came up with this link to 100 book blogs.
✅ You will see that there are a number of review sites we've talked about in other newsletters: Kirkus Reviews. The New York Review of Books. The Indie Review.
You may want to create a spreadsheet to gather the ones you'd like to contact about your book. Understand that these bloggers are pitched books daily. You must show them respect and be polite. Don't take an immediate no for an answer. If you really want to be featured on one of these blogs, give them a good reason to have your book featured. Make it relevant to them! 👩🏻📚🤝🏻
I'm sure you can find even more book blogs. Take into consideration some of the smaller bloggers. Those without hundreds of thousands of readers. Maybe someone with 5000 followers is good for you. Maybe you could sell 1000 books that way.
Now it's time to move on to Book Groups. 👇🏻
As mentioned above, social media is a prime place to get your book noticed. Groups abound just about everywhere. If not actual book groups, then there are groups devoted to writing, reading, publishing, plot outlines, and character development. You name it, there's probably a group for it. 📖
I know this next piece of advice might surprise you but... why not start a group of your own? Not just for your books. A group about your books, the characters, or the message. A group that wants to discuss the world topic you cover, or the coming armageddon you write about. By being the group master, you control the message. When it comes to controlling the group, do it with a velvet hand. You might even talk about other authors YOU like. Bring the group around to see that your books are just like his. Or hers. 😎
These are much like book clubs, except a group can grow to pretty large numbers. Whereas, you'd want your book clubs to be smaller. More intimate. More focused on you and your book. 📕
Let's end with podcasts. You knew I would mention podcasts. Right? 👇🏻
Podcasts for and by the Author
We recommend using podcasts as a way to find people who want to read your book. There are so many podcasts today that it's foolish to ignore the power of being a guest...OR... having your own show. 🤩
I recommend taking time to explore this idea. Being a guest is not as easy as it sounds. You must search and find the shows you want to be on (we recommend Andrew Allemann's PodcastGuest.com site for this) and you must understand your role as a guest. It's not to sell your book. It's to make the host look good because he brought someone fantastic on his show to talk about 'stuff' his listeners tune in to hear. Oh yes, you will mention your book and may even have a chance to promote it. But it's never just about the book. 🦋💥✒✍🏻🌼🌎
As for hosting your own show, this seems like a missed opportunity for many authors. Both fiction and nonfiction authors can grow their readership by hosting their own podcasts.
Over at Buzzsprout, they have an extensive and informative blog post (oh, it's a blog, fancy that!) all about podcasts and who listens and when they listen and why podcasts are here to stay.
You need to find a way to tap into this useful resource to promote your book.
Whew! I'm done in. That was a lot, today. But I couldn't leave anything out.
Any questions? Leave them in the comments below.
Visit me on LinkedIn and say hey! Bring your questions. Or comments. Hey, bring your book.
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