Book Clubs, Book Clubs and then more Book Clubs

30 May

I am often asked as an Independent writer/publisher, “How are your book sales going?”  This is a mixed question, and an easy one and a complex one.  Do you mean how are my book sales going via printed copies or print on demand books?  How are my book sales going out of the trunk of my car, or online? By online do you mean Amazon, or my website  Perhaps you meant, Kindle, Nook, Kobo or perhaps I-book.  Do you know that the average self-published book only sells 250 copies?  “REALLY?” you would probably say.  That is hard to believe, but that is the national average last time I checked. 


Although all of the avenues listed above all produce sales, book clubs have been our greatest ally in the pursuit of book sales.  “REALLY?” you would probably say once again.  Yes, The Year of the Cicadas is a book that does best by “word of mouth.”  One referral to another, or in our case, one book club to another.  Steve, Bryant, James and I, sometimes all of us, sometimes only me, have been crisscrossing the country attending book clubs, whenever we can.

photo-2Each book club is as diverse as you can imagine.  Sometimes they are a long-standing book club like the “Sweet Potato Queens” or the “Flabulous Ladies and Books, aka FLABS, with many attendees, sometimes they are newly formed groups that got together to read our book and have us visit.  Many times they are a mixture of both, the book club and a group of friends scattered amongst them. They may be an “all girls club”, or couples.  We may be gathered around a table of food, or simply a glass of wine.  It doesn’t matter if it is in a home, coffee shop, or place of business, the experience is always the same.  We have all been brought together by a story of struggle, love and redemption.  This is something that most people can relate to.  One of my readers said it best, “We all face a cliff in our lives, it may not be a real cliff, but a cliff of depression, addiction, failing marriage, trauma, and on and on..,”  We share our story, and they share a bit of theirs.  Everyone reads a different story when they read our book, it depends on where they are in their lives when they read our story.

Friday I received a message from a friend who has formed a “book club” of forty friends. She asked if I bring over a case of books?  Today I received a message from a book club attendee from last week, her friend wants to get five more books, could she still get the book club rate?  Another book club reader passed her book to a church friend and they want to discuss getting some people together to talk about our book, and this is how it goes…..

Sometimes our book signings have been wildly successful, sometimes they have been a flop, but our book clubs have never failed to amaze us, and to fill us with love, and wonderment.  It is difficult for us to fall asleep at night after a book club.  We are filled with a warm buzzing glow from all of your love and insights.  So once again, thank you to all of you for the wonderful gatherings, and here’s to many more.  



Our marketing plan is driven by one person at a time, and you play an integral role in helping this book find it’s way into the hearts and the minds of the people it was written for.

Want to help? Here are some of the things you can do:

Write a review on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, or our website

Tell a friend about our book or purchase a copy for them as a gift.

Take our book to your or your friends book club, church group, or start a small group to read the book together. We have study guide questions on our website to help guide you through conversations about the book.  You can get a discount through our website for multiple books purchased.

Write your local newspaper book reviewer and tell them how much you like our book.

Send a copy of our book or write to one of your favorite shows, like the Ellen Show, Oprah, The View or Kathie & Hoda, tell them what you think about it.  It only does so much if I say my book is good, you the reader carry a lot more weight than I do with the outside world.

Pray for our message, that our story will reach the hearts and minds of the people who can help us to open the doors.  Pray that our story will help to inspire people who are in need and that our story finds a way into their lives.

Without you, the readers of  The Year of the Cicadas, this story would be in a shoebox in the top of my closet waiting for my grandchildren to discover it after my passing. Thank you for letting me see it find the light while I am still here.  You rock.


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