Wednesday, December 10, 2008

promoting to book clubs

Recently, I received an e-mail from The Kid's Book Club Book website telling me about a new promotional opportunity they had. For $550.00 and 25-50 books, they will "bookblast" your book to their list children's book clubs.

Usually I delete e-mails with "great promotional opportunities" but as I had been signing bookplates for mother-daughter book club, it piqued my interest. Signing a bookplate for each individual girl and her mother had given me warm fuzzy feelings inside--it was lovely knowing that my book (especially The Year of the Dog as it has so much of my mother's life intertwined) was part of a mother-daughter bond. The idea of a whole mother-daughter book club discussing my book was pretty wonderful.

But while that is priceless, I'm not sure if I can plunk down $550. to be featured on someone's newsletter. To me, the best promotion is usually something you do yourself or is done without payment, out of enthusiasm or appreciation--that people respond to honesty. If you pay someone, there is always a degree of mistrust. So, I keep thinking there must be a better way, a way I can reach these groups and make them aware of my books without having to pay someone.

However, perhaps that is naive. What do you think? What would you do?


Kim Kasch said...

I belong to a bookclub at work. I don't know if we would read a book just because it was on a list. We usually discuss books we've heard about though and decide together what we want to read. Our book this month is The Lace Reader.

So, I don't know. Maybe if your book was listed, it would be one we would have "heard" about. Tough call for $550.00

Libby Koponen said...

How many other books are mentioned in the newsletter? What are they?

And how many people read their newsletter?

The one they had online -- with different book clubs recommending books -- was so long that I'm not sure how much good it would do to be one of, what, twenty? thirty? I didn't finish reading!

Most of the books were really good, though, so you'd be in good company! Or would you? Maybe the newsletter they send to their members is different.

Can anyone pay $550 and be included on it? Even if, say, the book is self-published? If that's the case, it might not worth be it. It's hard to say without knowing what's on the newsletter and who gets it.


Libby Koponen said...

Sorry, that should have been "be worth it."

Anonymous said...

I would never pay money for something like that... not to mention that I don't have any money to pay right now anyway. If there is no criteria other than you forking over some money then what's the point? What makes YOUR book the book to read? The 500 dollars? Sounds like a rotten deal! And who takes that money? What do they do with it?


Anonymous said...

I am with Meghan's comment above. Anything that bypasses the publisher and asks authors directly for upfront cash for any type of promotion sounds highly questionable.

Besides the fact that 'bookblast' shouldn't be a word.

Why isn't the company contacting marketing departments with this offer, and instead going directly to the authors themselves? That is a red flag to me. The other is the cash upfront.

If you find yourself feeling really curious I'd suggest running all the details by your publicist.

Cindy Hudson said...

Hi Grace -

Check out my Web site,,when you get a chance. My recommendations are from what I read to review, from my daughters' book clubs, and from readers in book clubs around the country. Your book, The Year of the Dog, is on the list. It was sent in by a club in California.

Grace Lin said...

Thanks everyone for your comments. I don't think I have the $550. to spend on it either! It's an interesting concept for promotion, though.

Cindy--your website is great! I am so happy "The Year of the Dog" is on the list. Thanks so much for sharing.