Updated: 04/02/2009 22:22
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If you buy more than five books each year, you can save a significant amount by joining a book club. They offer to buy books directly from the publisher. It makes their cost significantly lower than the retail price. You can buy the newest bestsellers or classic literature for less than you would spend in a bookstore! Many book clubs are available online, so you can browse their websites and select books any time you want.

Online book clubs make book shopping easier, faster and more convenient. They provide thousands of discount books in various categories, from science fiction and romance to mysteries and encyclopedias. So whether you prefer non-fiction stories or have a particular interest, you can find numerous titles that will capture your attention.

The main reason to join a book club is an economic advantage. You will find the same authors and titles that you can find in traditional bookstores, but at reduced prices. It is not uncommon to get 50-80% off publishers' edition prices.

Another advantage of book clubs is the opportunity to stay up-to-date on the newest publications. Each month, all members receive a free magazine that includes all of the latest titles that they can buy from the book club. Many publications are exclusive – they are available for members only.

In addition, online book clubs have all benefits of e-commerce. You don't need to leave the comfort of your home to buy books. Just browse catalogs and make selections online. It will save you numerous trips to the book store! It is also very convenient if you have suddenly remembered the title of the book you want to buy at night, when all bookstores are closed! Don't confuse book clubs that sell books with book clubs where members discuss books. They have the same name, but different targets. However, many book sales clubs have forums or message boards where members can discuss books they have bought or they want to buy.

Types of book clubs
All book clubs can be divided into three basic types: general interest book clubs, special interest book clubs and audio book clubs. Which book club you should join depends on your personal needs and interests.

General interest book clubs offer books on a wide range of topics, starting from traditional favorites to contemporary bestsellers. That's why general interest book clubs are an excellent choice for people who are fond of several genres. You can choose popular or less known titles in any category you want - romance, business and career, mystery and thrillers, computers and IT, family and parenting, collecting and art and many others.

General interest book clubs are also a good match for families because they offer books for kids and teens as well as for adults. It means that you can purchase interesting reading for yourself and interactive or educational books for your children.

The most well-known general interest book clubs are Doubleday Book Club, Book of the Month Club, Literary Guild Book Club and Quality Paperback Book Club.

Special interest book clubs specialize in a particular genre, for example children's bedtime stories, biographies and memoires, or science fiction novels. They are a great choice for people who purchase a lot of books of the same type at reduced prices. If you want to join a special interest book club, focus on the category that interests you most. Are you fond of romantic novels? Consider joining Rhapsody Book Club or Harlequin Book Club that rank in the top when it comes to romance books.

If you like science fiction books, you will be interested in the offers from Sci-Fi Book Club. Do you want to order interesting stories for your kid? You can choose Children's Book of the Month Club, Highlights Book Clubs or Disney Book Clubs.

If you prefer listening rather than reading, your best match is audio book clubs. They are a great choice for active people who do not have enough time to read. You can purchase or rent your favorite books and listen to them at home or on the go. For example, consider Audible Downloadable Audio Book Club, AudioBookWorm, Booksfree and Jiggerbug Audio Book CD Rental Club.

How book clubs work
Book clubs snag customers with an attractive introductory offer that includes discounted books and a free gift. For example:

• Doubleday offers 5 books for $0.99 plus a free book
• The Literary Guild Book Club offers 5 books for $0.99 plus a free book
• Quality Paperback Book Club offers 6 books for $6 plus a free gift
• Book-of-the-Month Club offers 5 books for $1 plus a free gift
• Black Expressions Book Club offers 5 books for $2 plus a free gift
• Crafter's Choice Book Club offers 4 books for $4 plus a free gift
• Military Book Club offers 4 books for $1 plus a free gift
• The Good Cook Book Club offers 4 cook books for $4
• Mystery Guild Book Club offers 5 books for $0.99 plus a free book
• Rhapsody Book Club offers 6 books for $0.99 plus a free book
• The Science Fiction Book Club offers 4 books for $4 plus a free book.
• Harlequin offers 2 free books and a surprise gift

Don't forget about sales taxes, shipping and handling fees! They are not included in the offers. In order to get an attractive introductory offer, you must agree to buy a pre-determined number of books at the regular price (which is generally lower than in traditional bookstores) over the course of the next year or two years. If you don't like your introductory books, you can sent them back and cancel your membership.

The majority of “commitment” book clubs require you to buy 4 books over 2 years, so you need to buy only 1 book every 6 months. This marketing strategy lets book clubs refund the low cost of initial offers.

To join a book club, you need to select the specified amount of books available with the initial offer, and agree to the terms of membership agreement, which specify how many books you need to purchase. After you complete this obligation you can cancel your membership any time you want.

With “commitment” book clubs, books are sent only if you request them. You may choose any titles or authors you want. As a club member, you will regularly receive magazines with new books and special offers. Or you can visit you book club's website and select what you want to buy there.

Some book clubs such as Harlequin or Scholastic have different principle of work. They are called “continuity” book clubs because they send their members a certain number of books (selected by the club) every month until the membership expires or is canceled.

“Continuity” book clubs are a good match for people who love books from a certain genre but don't have time or inclination to select new titles on a regular basis. Even if you do not choose the books yourself, they usually allow you to return any titles that you don't want.

Whether you are a literary enthusiast or just a savvy consumer who wants to get substantial money-saving discounts, joining a book club online is an excellent way to keep yourself supplied with a vast selection of reading. However, keep in mind that it can be difficult to find all books you want to read in one book club. That's why you may need to use other online shops to make additional orders.

About the author

Abby Anderson is a a multi-skilled copywriter with good all-round writing and creative expertise. She is a very capable professional with an ability to identify and then deal with a clients needs and then translate them into crisp, compelling, creative and informative copy. Experienced in providing motivation & guidance to colleagues to produce copy write for products that will have a real impact on the lives of people. Abby has excellent interpersonal skills, she is a good communicator, emotionally mature with calming and positive temperament and understanding disposition.
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