Bookstores to Promote Their Celebrity Book Club Selections

BY Rachel Cagle
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"At a time when book discovery is challenging because of the amount of content clamoring for attention, celebrity book clubs are playing an important role in spurring sales for listed titles. According to global information company The NPD Group, the volume of the sales bump varies with the celebrity’s level of popularity, but having a book selected by a celebrity reader with a big following can result in a huge increase exposure and sales."

"In fact, there are a host of celebrity book clubs for readers to choose from, not only the better-​known offerings from Oprah Winfrey, but also others like actress Sarah Jessica Parker, NFL player Andrew Luck, musician Florence Welch, and many others."

"As a longtime innovator in the high-​wattage book club space, no one has had greater impact on the discovery of classics and new titles than Oprah Winfrey. Selection of a new book or author for her club virtually guarantees bestseller status, and she has also helped new generations discover great works for the first time. Oprah’s first Book Club ran from 1996 to 2010, and it was rebooted again online in 2012 as 'Oprah’s Book Club 2.0.' To date, Winfrey has put 77 books on her list and brought many new authors to the public’s attention.”

'There is no doubt that having a trusted taste-​maker champion your book can open the door to a higher level of discovery for the general public,' said Kristen McLean, books industry analyst, NPD Bookscan. 'The publishing industry used to discuss the ‘Oprah Effect,’ but she has a lot more company now.'”

"Hollywood actor Reese Witherspoon’s popular 'Hello Sunshine' book club took author Delia Owens’s 'Where the Crawdads Sing' and catapulted it onto the best seller lists in September 2018. It has gone on to sell more than one million copies in print formats, and it remains the leading title in NPD BookScan’s overall bestseller list today. Witherspoon’s pick for October 2018, Laurie Frankel’s 'This Is How It Always Is,' achieved a 276% increase in unit sales in the three months following book club selection, while Maria Hummel’s 'Still Lives' posted 103% growth after appearing on Witherspoon’s list."

'In this day and age, a personal endorsement can be worth more than millions of advertising dollars,' McLean said. 'It’s a whole new word-​of-​mouth paradigm, and those who receive it are lucky indeed.'”

Last year, about half of Book Readers took action after receiving an email ad, according to AudienceSCAN. Their favorite types of email messages include coupons and discount codes, limited-​time offers and sales and new product announcements. While online, they were also motivated by ads on social media, sponsored search results, ads on daily deals sites such as Groupon and internet banner ads.

AudienceSCAN data is available for your applications and dashboards through the SalesFuel API. In addition, AdMall contains industry profiles on bookstores and department stores, as well as lead lists at the local level. Media companies, sales reps and agencies can access this data with a subscription to AdMall from SalesFuel.