It’s Book Club Wednesday again! It may seem like I talk about working with book clubs a lot. Well, I do. Book clubs make up a huge chunk of this industry. Think about the number of book clubs you assist through your store. And those are just the clubs you know about! The book clubs you foster trust your recommendations. Don’t wait for them to call. It’s important for them to hear from you.
In addition to promoting titles new to paperback, you can suggest backlist titles from authors with new hardcover releases. Or if an author is coming to your store, suggest some earlier titles to book clubs so they can better understand and appreciate the scope of that author’s writing. It’s a win-win. You get to sell more books, and the club gets the bonus of hearing and seeing the author.
Even though I’m giving you book club handselling suggestions, I have another something for you to try. Listening. As you ring out customers for the next few days, ask them a simple question: “Are you in a book club?” And then just listen. Readers can be quite proud of their book clubs. If you want to, follow-up with questions like, “What are you reading now?” … “What did the group think of that book?” … “What was their favorite read last year?” Or if it’s a regular customer, ask with a smile, “Just how many book clubs are you in?” What does this little survey accomplish? It gives you a glimpse of the number of book clubs that do not order their selections through you. And it shows the customer that you’re not just trying to sell them something. You’ve just taken an interest in their lives.
Okay. Now on the selling. Here are new titles released in paperback yesterday:
- The Son by Philipp Meyer. Epic in scope, this book is good for groups that like good literary fiction, historical fiction, western fiction. Great for (but not limited to) men.
- The Hour of Peril: The Secret Plot to Murder Lincoln Before the Civil War by Daniel Stashower. Good for groups that like Devil in the White City. Here’s a link to discussion questions.
- The Book of My Lives by Aleksandar Hemon. Good for groups that like literary fiction with a world view. This genre-bending writer of fiction now gives us a memoir.
- Ghana Must Go by Taiye Selasi. For fans of Zadie Smith, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, Ishmael Beah, NoViolet Bulawayo…