Introducing The Kindle Summer Book Club

Yes, it’s July, and thanks to real-life interfering with the schedule the Girls Just Wanna Have Fun June blogfest is now over-running into July.

Tomorrow (he wrote hopefully – West Africa’s weather might decide otherwise) we’ll be back on track with a guest post from the one and only Gerry McCullough.

Today, however, is the official launch of the Kindle Summer Book Club.

Nine best-selling authors from both sides of the Atlantic joining together to bring their writings to a wider audience, and helping with a good cause in the process.

Would love to say it was my idea, but it’s the other Mark, Mark Edwards, who deserves all the credit. Mark has explained the background over on his own site at indieiq, and I reproduce that post here in full.

There’s actually a lot more going on than I can bring to you here now, thanks to limited power and net as the West African summer gets under way, so be sure to check out the facebook page and the links to the various authors sites.

And for those reading this today, Saturday 02 July, Mark will be conducting a live chat session on facebook this evening. For times, see below.

Here’s Mark Edwards:

Back at the beginning of May, before all the craziness started, I had an idea that I have been working on behind the scenes ever since. I was on holiday, chilling out in sun-soaked Portugal, and while I tore through books on my Kindle my girlfriend was reading a real papery book that she’d picked up at the airport on the way out. On the cover of this paperback was a sticker that read Richard & Judy’s Book Club.

Over the last few years, there has been one sure-fire way to have a lit-hit in the UK. Richard & Judy were daytime TV presenters who had the idea of starting a weekly discussion about a novel. (I believe the idea was imported from Oprah.) Each year they would choose around eight novels which would be discussed, in turn, on the show. These books, which were usually popular novels with a literary sheen, were displayed together in shops, stickered and promoted as part of a pack. It worked brilliantly. A number of novelists were propelled into the big time, the books sold in their millions and bookshops were saved from impending doom. Years on, Richard and Judy aren’t on TV any more (they are both working on their first novels!) but the book club continues to do brisk business.

So, I thought, maybe we indies should have a go at doing something like that. It’s so hard for potential readers to find good books; we could lend them a hand. So I contacted a number of big-name indie authors, some of whom I had already interviewed on this blog, others who had never heard of me, thinking they would most likely turn me down. To my delight, nearly everyone said yes, including the huge US authors HP Mallory, J Carson Black, Scott Nicholson and Victorine Lieske, plus the UK bestsellers Saffina Desforges and Sibel Hodge, and a brilliant newcomer, Cheryl Shireman, who epitomises all that is good about indie publishing.

Once everyone was on board, we had to organise the whole thing. Somebody – I can’t remember who – came up with the idea of creating an anthology containing extracts from all the novels. Then we decided to add in exclusive material – short stories or articles from each of the authors. I collected together all the material and passed it to J Carson Black’s husband, Glenn, who runs Breakaway Media, as he had kindly offered to publish the book. We wanted to make it free but Amazon makes that difficult, so instead we decided to charge the minimum $0.99 and give the proceeds to charity: a fund for victims of the recent tornado in Joplin.

It’s been a bit chaotic at times, trying to organise a group of busy writers on both sides of the Atlantic (and one in Africa) but yesterday our Summer Book Club collection went live on Amazon. We also have a Facebook group (www.facebook.com/summerbookclub) and we are going to take it in turns, week by week, to focus on one book.

Killing Cupid is the first book to be featured and I am going to do a live chat on Facebook on Saturday night, at approx 9.30pm UK time (I will publish a separate post about this). I have a horrible feeling no-one will turn up, but it’s worth a try!

The other books that will be featured in the Summer Book Club are:

THE SHOP, J Carson Black.
SUGAR AND SPICE (US EDITION), Saffina Desforges.
BE CAREFUL WHAT YOU WISH FOR, Sibel Hodge.
NOT WHAT SHE SEEMS, Victorine Lieske.
TO KILL A WARLOCK, HP Mallory.
DISINTEGRATION, Scott Nicholson.
LIFE IS BUT A DREAM, Cheryl Shireman

I will be featuring interviews with these writers over the next seven weeks.

So what would I like you to do? Well, firstly, please join the Facebook page. We are planning on hostings some giveaways and this is a great chance to chat with all of the writers above and talk about books.

Secondly, if you can spare $0.99 (0r 71p) the Summer Book Club anthology is well worth getting for the stories and articles alone. It features a fabulous new story by me and Louise (mostly Louise!), a very funny story by Mark Williams, a couple of awesome crime stories by J Carson Black and Scott Nicholson, some sweet romance from Sibel Hodge and Victorine Lieske, plus two inspiring articles by HP Mallory and Cheryl Shireman. Cheryl’s article is well worth the price of admission alone, especially if you are a writer or an aspiring writer.

Buy it on Amazon.com

Buy it on Amazon.co.uk

Get if free at Smashwords: http://www.smashwords.com/books/view/70762

Enjoy, and welcome to the club.

Mark Edwards and Lousie Voss have, coincidentally, appeared on MWi numerous times recently, and regulars will by now be familiar with their story and the background to how they became the first indie authors in the UK not only to have a #1 Kindle best-seller, and not only to have two titles in the top five, but to actually hold #1 and #2 simultaneously. And this with two books the gatekeepers rejected time and time again.

For any new-comers who missed their story, related here many times, check out this post at fellow Kindle Club writer Cheryl Shireman’s site, where Mark explains all.

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  1. *scribbles titles down*
    Y’know, I think I might have some serious fun this summer with these… 😀

    • Some serious reading across a range of genres, Ms Spook. And don’t forget all the extras in the Club book itself, including a short story from yours truly!

  2. Now I really outght to get a Kindle I suppose. *grin* (You have to have one to read them, right? Or could I do it on the computer or find them in paper….?)

    Oh but I found a real book store, with older books and I reveled in the feel and smell. Saddly I had no cash at that moment to buy anything.

    But yes I do need to get back into the reading thing. and better yet, breack out of my Sci-Fi and Fantasy preference.

    :} Cathryn Leigh

    • Not having a Kindle ought to be a punishable offence, but I guess it’s early days.

      You can buy from Amazon and download a Kindle app for your computer or whatever, but the reading experience is not quite the same.

      Amazon won’t let us list for free, but is it available for free from Smashwords. Link above.

      If you’re limiting yourself to one genre you’re missing out on so much great reading in other fields. And not having a Kindle means you’re also missing out on most of the new indie writers who are actually driving the e-pub revolution.

  3. This is such a brilliant idea. Because indie Kindle books are one big, fast-growing slush pile, readers need a way to find which writers are worth reading. Banding together and publishing a “sampler” gives readers a taste, plus a frame of reference. You’ve formed an elite club of authors who have proved yourselves. This will help new readers find you.

    It gives me something to aspire to. If I’m very, very lucky, maybe I’ll get to join you one day.

    • I’m sure we’d all love to have you!

      The reception so far has been overwhelmingly positive, and today the Club book is in the top 100 anthologies on Kindle UK and heading up the main chart too.

    • Miriam
    • July 3rd, 2011

    Yeah, well, as we all know I don’t have a Kindle, so it might be kinda difficult for me to participate or whatever 😦

    • Ms Miriam, you can download a free Kindle app from Amazon and read any Amazon e-book on your laptop, or on many other devices.

      Come and join the fun!

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