Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Book Club Kits: Another Marketing Tool

Many libraries across the country provide Book Club Kits to local book clubs to facilitate the reading and discussion of their chosen book. But not all. In fact, not most.

I checked with three library systems in the Phoenix metro area (none of whom have any Book Club Kits) and offered to prepare a Book Club Kit: Mission Impastable (sans books!) for each branch.

Here’s the letter I sent:
I am a local author of Mission Impastable, a culinary mystery published by Oak Tree Press later this month. I would like to present each library branch with a Book Club Kit with supportive materials for book clubs choosing to read my novel. If you are willing to accept a book club kit, what is the process I should follow for submission? Thank you for considering my request.  

In response, one library said they aren’t interested in going that direction, but they would be happy to include my book in their collection! So far, I haven’t heard from the other two library systems, but given they currently have no Book Club Kits, odds are they, too, won’t want to go that direction. But maybe they’ll offer library placement, too!

The kits I offered to prepare are loose-leaf notebooks. Additionally, I plan to post the components on my website and on a page at my foodie blog so book clubs can use my kit without getting it from a library.

I looked at components for Book Club Kits at a number of sites and found basic kits included multiple copies of the book, author biography, and discussion questions.

Other libraries had additional kit components, such as how to have book club discussions, but I devised five components I found nowhere else:
·      Information on how to Skype and invitation to Skype during a meeting
·      Content from the book: a pasta recipe
·      DVD with my related YouTube videos
·      List of other authors to read in the culinary mystery genre
·      Two areas of research I did for this title:
-       fatal poisons, and
-       descriptions of personal chef careers
Following is a description of what the Mission Impastable Book Club Kit will look like. When I complete the first one, I will post pictures on my website and blogs.
·      Loose-leaf notebook with page protector sheets for each item
·      The pocket-cover of the notebook features the book cover

The Table of Contents:
·      Summary of Mission Impastable
·      What Do Reviewers Say?
·      Author Biography
·      Interviews with the Author
·      Do You Want to Skype with Sharon Arthur Moore?
·      Pasta Recipe from the Culinary Mystery, Mission Impastable
·      Reader’s Guide to Discussing Mission Impastable
·      DVD with Mission Impastable Book Trailer and Alli and 
             Gina’s Cooking School Video for “Hermosillo Salsa”
·      How to Contact Sharon Arthur Moore and Find Her On-line
·      Books in the “Dinner is Served” Series
·      Other Culinary Mystery Authors You Might Like
·      Did You Wonder about …?
·      Tips: How to Run a Book Club Discussion        

I anticipate this marketing tool will be distinctive enough to garner attention. Even if not used by a book club, the information I provide on-line should support my readers. For very little effort, I have a product I can tout. And replicating the components for future books will be easier because some things are standard (like how to Skype).

I am going to blog more about this process and component parts at and in the coming weeks. Follow my progress with this venture!


D.R. Ransdell said...

Very interesting and very helpful! My friends have tried to request Mariachi Murder at the local libraries here in Tucson to no avail. The librarians just say, oh, we can't find it in the system, but I don't think they're trying to find it. I've thought about donating copies--some authors have found that their local libraries don't have the wherewithal to put donations on the shelves. I'll be very interesting in finding out what happens! In the meantime, congrats on the book kit and best of luck!

Sharon Arthur Moore said...

Thanks so much for that perspective. I know libraries have been cut a lot! I don't know if this approach will work for marketing, but I think it is unique and will attract some attention. That's the intent, anyway!

Marilyn Meredith a.k.a. F. M. Meredith said...

Interesting. I've never heard of anyone doing this quite in this manner. I have heard of many putting discussion questions for book clubs at the back of their books and on their websites. I've never done either. Do keep us posted.

Sharon Arthur Moore said...

Thanks for chiming in, Marilyn. I figured it was worth a shot to try something not already done to death! People like free stuff--this kit gives that!

Beryl Reichenberg said...

Interesting concept. You sure have put a lot of effort and thought into this. Beryl

Sharon Arthur Moore said...

Thanks, Beryl. I have two nibbles from book clubs right now! That would be exciting if it happens. It would make the effort worthwhile. If nothing else, I should be able to drive more traffic to my blog and maybe get more readers for my books. Thank you for commenting.