Book Clubbing

I don’t know when this trend started, but editors seem gaga when a book, whether fiction or non-fiction, has a club or a group in it.

Maybe it started with Sex and the City, or maybe it was just those non-fiction Sweet Potato Queens, but it seems like every publisher likes a book with a club in it. And the Jane Austen Book Club was a bestseller. (I once even heard an editor at USA Weekend say something to the effect that if anyone ever published a novel called The Over the Hill Dating Club, she would cover it as part of a dating trend piece.)

Club books often sell at high prices– Yoga Mamas sold at auction– and the latest “club” book mentioned by Publisher’s Weekly was sold via a seven house auction. The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society is a debut novel by Mary Ann Shaffer. It’s about neighbors who survive the Nazi occupation who by meeting over potato peel pie to discuss classic novels.

With seven houses involved, this book fetched a high price. Yes, it’s probably well-written. And yes, there’s a historical factor.

But I believe the best money making factor that had seven houses bidding was that it’s about a club.

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One Response to “Book Clubbing”

  1. Marcus Sakey says:

    Hey Mahesh,

    Great post, as always.

    I wanted to get back to you–I hadn’t seen your comment on The Outfit until just now. Obviously, I’d love to chat with you. Drop me a line and we can go from there–msakey at rcn dot com.


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