What is a book club sale? It is actually a rights sale or a licensing agreement: you are granting permission to a book club right to “borrow” your work. You have written a book, and now you are allowing a book club to print and distribute your book to its members.
You allow book club to reprint your book in a specific language, in a specific format, for a specific period of time, in a specific geographic territory, to a specific group of people. You ensure in your contract that you maintain ownership of copyright and of all other intellectual property rights, such as electronic, movie, other languages and territories, and serial rights – to name a few. Always seek good legal advice before signing a contract.
There are many book clubs, but most of major clubs fall under bookspan umbrella (www.bookspan.com). To find other book clubs that are appropriate for your book, do an internet search: on your browser, type in +(your book genre, e.g., cooking)+book+club.
The chances of having your book selected by a book club are roughly one in ten, which is really quite good. Imagine if your chance at winning lottery was that great!
Tip #1 for increasing odds:
It is important to know that book clubs are always looking for new ideas to entice their members, so if your book is well written and edited, has plans for professional graphic design, AND demonstrates a unique slant on your topic, your chances of being selected rise considerably.
Tip #2 for increasing odds:
In saying that, it is important for you to know that earlier you submit your book, better.
Tip #3 for increasing odds:
Book clubs are much happier receiving a typed manuscript six to twelve months in advance of your publication date than receiving a bound galley or finished book close to publication date. A book club likes to introduce your book to its members near your publication date in order to take advantage of reviews and publicity that you will be generating when your book is launched. The bigger media splash you make, better everyone’s sales will be.
Tip #4 for increasing odds:
There are many categories of book clubs, so be sure to submit your title only to appropriate clubs. Do not send your book to every book club that you can find. Each club’s membership has specific interests so be sure to submit your book only to clubs that might buy—you will again increase your chance of being selected.
For instance, if you have a humor book, it’s unlikely to be of any interest to a cooking club or to a mathematics club. If your book is regional, it will not likely appeal to a general interest book club, so submit that a regional title to suitable specialty clubs.