This year, the American Booksellers Association is partnering with Well-Read Black Girl founder Glory Edim to bring book club meetings to independent bookstores nationwide with the goal of amplifying diverse voices and supporting emerging writers of color.
Well-Read Black Girl (WRBG) is a book club turned literary festival based in Brooklyn, New York, that provides a vital space for black female readers and writers to connect and grow in conversation. Each month, Edim hosts book club meetings, readings, and Twitter chats (#WRBGChat) with emerging and established authors, and the thriving online community now has more than 170,000 Instagram followers, 44,900 Twitter followers, and 12,865 Facebook followers.
Booksellers are invited to sign on now to serve as ambassadors and host Well-Read Black Girl book clubs in their stores throughout the year. Email WRBG@bookweb.org to sign up to host a book club or to share ideas; be sure to include your name, store name, city, and state.
Stores that sign on to host book clubs will:
- Be included in ABA promotion of the program in print and online
- Be featured on an interactive online map of locations hosting book clubs so interested readers can search by ZIP Code
- Receive marketing materials to use in-store and online to promote the book club
- Receive a window display kit from Random House
- Be invited to attend webinars about how to launch and host a WRBG book club
As events are scheduled, Edim, who launched Well-Read Black Girl in 2015, will promote indie bookstores on her social media platform and encourage followers to ask their local store to host a book club. In addition, Edim will lead a workshop at the seventh annual Children’s Institute in Pittsburgh in June to discuss best practices and tips for establishing a Well-Read Black Girl book club.
In September, each participating Well-Read Black Girl book club will read the same title (to be determined), and Edim will visit a number of indie bookstores and Skype into book clubs throughout the fall.
Edim is the winner of the 2017 Innovator’s Award from the Los Angeles Times Book Prizes and a board member of New York City’s Housing Works Bookstore. Her book Well-Read Black Girl: Finding Our Stories, Discovering Ourselves was published by Ballantine Books on October 30, 2018.
Booksellers should watch Bookselling This Week and attend the upcoming Spring Forums to learn more about this collaboration. A personal letter from Edim is included in this week’s Winter Institute welcome bags, and the letter will be mailed to all other stores in the coming week.