After your book has been chosen, it’s time to strategize: funding, planning and promoting your program is the next step. Materials about your Community-Wide Reading Program and its different events should be in place prior to any public announcement.
During the planning process, the following steps should be taken:
- Decide on the funding level needed to support the program and submit requests for grants or corporate donations.
- Determine the time period (week/month, etc) when all discussions and events related to the book will take place.
- Order additional copies of the book and then put them into circulation upon public announcement of the selection of the title.
- Contact the publisher to inform them of your selection. Enquire about the author’s availability to participate in programs. You should expect to pay an honorarium for author lectures and talks. (Keep in mind that an author’s presence is not essential for a successful event. Many communities have participated in this program without an author appearance.)
- Create promotional materials to announce your event.
- Develop a Discussion Guide* for the book. This should be distributed at libraries, bookstores, community centers, schools, etc.
- Use social media to announce and promote the program.
- Secure copies of film or audiobook adaptations to use in conjunction with book discussions.
*Features to include in the Discussion Guide
- Author Bio
- Quote or note from the author
- Note from other community figures (civic or government leaders, etc)
- Discussion Questions
- Other Recommended Reading
- Guidelines for participating in a discussion
- Calendar of Events
- Suggestions/Evaluation Sheet
DETERMINE when your program will take place.
ORDER additional copies of title to go into circulation on the announcement date (All formats and all English & foreign language editions).
CONTACT the publisher to determine if the author is available to participate in the program. REQUEST a quote or comment from the author for inclusion in the Discussion Guide.
ORDER copies of film adaptation if this will be part of the program.
PLAN programming for library branches and reserve any theaters or other spaces needed for events.
DRAFT and design the Discussion Guide.
DESIGN all promotion posters, postcards, bookmarks, buttons, etc.
DEVELOP list of media contacts to receive press release.
COMPILE list of local bookstores and community groups to request participation in promotion of the program.
DISTRIBUTE Discussion Guide and all promotion material
CREATE Web content related to Community-Wide Reading Program. Be sure to use all social media platforms available: Twitter, Facebook, GoodReads, Shelfari, LibraryThing, etc.
DRAFT press release.
DISTRIBUTE additional copies of book to library branches.
FINALIZE press release and collate press kits.
ANNOUNCE the book selected for the Community-Wide Reading Program.
GO live on Web site with content related to the title selected.
SEND full press kit to local and regional print and broadcast media contacts.
SEND promotional material to bookstores and community groups that have been targeted for outreach.
CONTINUE to pitch media for ongoing stories about the program.
SECURE media coverage and interviews for the author during his/her visit to your city.
RUN ads for the program and events surrounding it.
CONFIRM that all programs will be featured in city newspaper arts calendars.
FOLLOW-UP with community groups and bookstores supporting the program to replenish Discussion Guides and other promotional material.
CONDUCT discussions at library branches.
HOST author lecture or discussion.
RUN a Film Festival with showings of a film adaptation of the book followed by an audience discussion.
COORDINATE book group meetings in bookstores and cafes around town
Be sure to let the community know the results of your program.
POST photos of the various events, feedback from participants, approximate number of attendees at each program, etc. This information is interesting to your patrons and helpful to publishers.