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This week, author Kasie Whitener joined Alexa for a webinar on marketing with book clubs. If you missed the live webinar, you can watch the replay on our Webinars page.

Dr. Kasie Whitener is a writer, researcher, analyst, educator, and promoter of all things Gen X. She has more than 15 years of experience in business process documentation, re-engineering, and analysis. Kasie specializes in adult learning with experience in onboarding, corporate acquisitions, and software training. As President of Clemson Road Creative, Kasie conducts organizational research, coaches process redesign, and conducts strategic planning and learning initiatives. She earned an undergraduate degree at Clemson University, a master’s at Winthrop University, and her doctorate in Organizational Management at Capella University where she specialized in global leadership. When away from work, Kasie can be found in the pool as a US Masters Swimmer, cheering wildly for her beloved Clemson Tigers and Washington Redskins, beating the pavement as a half-marathoner, or entangled in the fictional worlds she creates where the vampires not only hunt, they also time travel.

 

In this webinar you will learn:

  • How to get into a book club
  • How to get KICKED out of a book club
  • How to sell your books through a book club
  • Tips for virtual book clubs

 

Finding Book Clubs

Kasie was invited by The Pat Conroy Literary Center to deliver her workshop, How To Get Kicked Out Of a Book Club, where she met other book club organizers, and began talking to them about her book, After December. Kasie advises authors to attend similar events, and share your book with book club organizers. Look up literary events in your area, and search the program to see if there will be sessions on book clubs, then attend those sessions!  Don’t be shy about telling people about your book, and ask questions to learn more about how the book club is organized.These questions will help you determine whether your book is a good fit for the book club.

Some questions you should ask are:

  1. What kind of books does this book club read?
  2. How far in advance do they choose their books?
  3. How are the books selected?

Many membership organizations have book clubs, which is a great market to tap. For example, Alexa’s sorority has a book club, and issues a month by month list of titles for local chapters to read. And don’t overlook corporations. Woman on Top, by WPS client Angela Hosking, was recently picked up by Wells Fargo’s employee book club.

Helping Book Clubs Find You

One of the key takeaways from this webinar is making sure people know who you are, and where to find you. This doesn’t require a massive marketing campaign, but simply SHOWING UP. In other words, networking will get you far. Introduce yourself to book club organizers, and make sure you are easy to find. Your website should have everything a book club organizer needs to learn more about your book, and why it would be a good fit for their book club. Kasie often makes herself available to attend the book club meeting, and will give a presentation, so be sure to highlight this option if you are willing to do the same. Readers love the opportunity to chat with authors! Your website can also include snippets of the book, and videos that bring the reader behind the scenes. In the case of After December, Kasie visited the setting of her book, in Virginia, and made a video showing the different real-life locations where the story takes place.

Using Book Clubs To Make Your Next Book Better

Kasie points out that attending the book club allows her to gather reader feedback. She advises authors to take in the feedback, and not get upset by it, since the book has already been published and there’s nothing you can do about it. Responding  negatively to book club feedback is a  Instead, use this information to make your next book better! In the case of After December, Kasie is planning a follow-up book so the feedback from book club members was especially useful. Her forthcoming book, Before Pittsburgh, was largely shaped by reader feedback, according to Kasie.  Pay attention to what book club members liked and didn’t like about your book, and what questions they have about the characters.

 

Head over to our webinars page to view the replay, and register for our upcoming webinars.