Book Club Kit

I was studying the Duolit Author Website Checklist PDF, trying to figure out how I could improve my multiple blogs (*sigh* yeah don’t get me started, one’s for a University Assignment, so there’s not much I can do about that one) and I noticed the term “Book Club Kit”.

As I had no idea what that was, I decided to google it. Apparently big publishing companies like to make these kits for Book Clubs (which are apparently a pretty big deal), discussions and questions to ask with relevance to the book, and these kits are pretty common with Libraries. The Library will organize a list of books and the Leader of Book Club can order the required amount of books through the Library.

It’s pretty much the Library organizing a “What to Read This Year” book list, some Libraries set up a simple PDF file with a table set-up or there’s the Oprah Book-Club Reading List, which is more complicated and aesthetically pleasing. It all depends on how much time and money is available.

I guess it’s a good idea if you want to read books with a group but don’t know who to get involved with or what books to read. Personally, My “To Be Read” list is never ending, I’ve never had a problem with finding books, they always seem to find me. However, I had never thought of applying such a concept to my own works of Fiction or Novels. That would mean I would have to have finished one of my many Novel Project Ideas, actually finish the first draft, revise and edit first draft numerous times, organize the layout and format of the manuscript within InDesign, publish it through an online service such as Smashwords.

I know it sounds like I’m putting the cart before the horse, I should probably have a finished product before I start thinking about Book Club Kits, but I thought it might be good to start posting up a PDF file of recommended reads, nothing fancy, just a table-format job with a couple of columns.

Opinions? Thoughts? Suggestions? Let me know in the comments

Links:
The Reading Club
Reading Group Guides
How To Start Your Own Book Club – Oprah
Starting a Book Club checklist – Real Simple
How to Start a Book Club – LitLovers
Read-Think-Talk – LitLovers
How to Start a Book Group – WikiHow

6 comments

  1. Recommended reads sounds like a good idea. One of the mantras of pitching your book is to compare it to already published works and explain how yours compliments/is different. That’s what you’re going for right? People tend to stick within the genres they like, so if you can get some feedback from readers within the genre you’re writing, you could learn a lot. You could find which books compliment yours and could work together in a book club’s reading sequence. It might be a bit early, but you gotta keep your eye on the prize, right? Anything you can learn along the way is a bonus.

    • Thank you for commenting, you make me sound way smarter than I really am, I assure you. The main idea was to just post up a list of books I like, but your idea sounds way better 😀

      • Bahah! Well, it works both ways, doesn’t it? Books you like to read are most likely stories you would like to write. See, you were being subconsciously smart!

  2. Hey, that’s a cool PDF. Thank you! And it’s cool to realise that I’ve done most of it (or a lot of it I can’t do yet because that stuff doesn’t exist yet) and the rest was already on my list of Things To Do, aside from the Book Club Kit, but that checklist lays it all out neatly. (If I should ever become so well known that I need a Book Club Kit, I guess I’ll make one. I certainly have a running list in my head of Queer Fantasy Authors People Should Read!)

    And because I can’t let it go past – if you’re planning to only publish on Smashwords and Amazon, you can skip InDesign entirely (unless you want to use it for cover design). Just style in Word. I’m actually writing up a guide for publishing to both platforms, using Word, for the student I’m tutoring (because Amazon’s guide for KDP is terrible, while Coker’s style guide contains a lot of basic stuff that’s clearly laid-out, but for anyone slightly educated in Word there’s a lot of irrelevancies, and some of the stuff he suggests isn’t good industry practice, IMO) because that’s how she’s going to complete her ebook assignment. I’ve done some testing (exporting to html) and I think you can style the one file so it suits both platforms and looks good, as long as you know your way around paragraph styles and a few other Word techniques (ones that the KDP guide does not mention at all).

    You can create an epub in InDesign and upload it to Smashwords if you want (fix a few of the goofy things InDesign does to the epub file and run it through epubcheck in something like Sigil first) but if you’re less confident in creating epubs in InDesign – and it’s trickier than creating a html-optimised Word document because InDesign isn’t really good at epubs – then Word is the way to go. The Smashwords editions of Asylum and Crooked Words were all imported into Word from InDesign and re-styled, so you might as well skip that step and save you some time and effort!

    I will stop nerding out about ebooks, now. I will.

    • Thank you so much for commenting and by all means, Nerd Out as much as you like, there’s no problems this end. We should really do a post about InDesign, Smashwords and all this stuff. Also your Reading List titled “Queer Fantasy Authors People Should Read” sounds like a great idea.
      I find it amusing that the two posts I just slapped together without much fore-thought (Procrastination and Book Club Kit respectively) are the two posts that have generated the most interest.

      • I can write up anything you like about Smashwords, InDesign, ebook production; it may stop me from cornering strangers and innocent PWE teachers to tell them everything I know! (No, it won’t, but I’ll be ridiculously enthusiastic about the prospect anyway.) Send me an email (VU addy, please) and tell me what you think you want me to cover or how you want to go about doing this. It’s strange how the vast majority of things I do – that earn money, even – these days aren’t editing but design and production work, and yet it’s taught secondary to editing.

        That’s probably something I should do: people who read mainstream fiction often haven’t found their way to the queer lady authors I most enjoy reading – and I’ve got a mental list of real feminist fantasy authors (not the ‘men who write Strong Female Characters* and get lauded as feminist’ or ‘women who are considered feminist just because they’re women but don’t actually write feminist works’) deserving of a recommend as well. I’ll add it to my lengthy and absurd To Do list.

        (* As in: they’re all the one type of masculine-ish, emotionally-strong, liberated heroic woman. Think Moffat and River Song/Clara/Amy Pond.)

        I can assure you that the posts I spend relatively little time on, for some reason, garner the most likes. I think it’s one of the unsolved mysteries of the creative life. If you solve this paradox, will you let me know?

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