Blogger: Janet Kobobel Grant
Location: Books & Such main office, Santa Rosa, Calif.
In many ways, our society feeds a sense of being part of the milieu rather than being uniquely you or me. As a result, individuals are looking for others with whom they can connect and share their passions. One of the ways that need is being expressed is through book clubs. While many of us belong to generic book clubs that each year pick a variety of fiction/nonfiction, genre-crossing blends of books, others are founding specialized book clubs. One type of club is the cookbook club. The idea is to pick a cookbook, spend a month testing recipes and then coming together for a potluck.
Other books clubs exclusively read historical novels from a specific era, such as the Civil War. Still others read from the never-ending stream of WWII nonfiction books.
And some read books that involve an outing. The book club I belong to picks one book each year that results in our traveling to a site. For example, one year we read The Maltese Falcon and took a San Francisco walking tour of all the places named in the book. Another year we read a Jack London biography and then ventured to the Jack London State Park, where we had the chance to interview Jack London’s grandson–in the house he had built in the middle of the park and that was filled with London memorabilia. We went to Ashland, Oregon, to watch “To Kill a Mockingbird” performed as a play the month we read that book.
People are looking for ways to “add value” to their book clubs by connecting in a variety of ways over books.
What does that mean for writers? Think about how your book could fit into a specialized type of book club. Look online for such clubs. If you can’t find any but think lots and lots of people would respond to that type of club, start forming them via your website and social media.
What possibilities do you see for book clubs that are highly specialized? (Maybe you have ideas for a club you’d like to be in–even if it isn’t related to what you write about.)