Hello and welcome to the first month of the Fantastic Strangelings Book Club!
If you’ve already become a member of the book club you got an email yesterday telling you what our first book pick is. Yay! (If you didn’t get that email check your spam filter and if it’s not in there email us at firstname.lastname@example.org so we can make sure you’re in the system. This post will cover most everything in the first letter.)
If you’re reading this and going “THERE’S A BOOK CLUB? HOW DID I MISS THIS?” then yes, there is and you should click here if you want in.
So first off, THANK YOU. I honestly was crossing my fingers that there would be at least 50 people in this strange little book club. At present? There are over 1,100 of us. WTF, y’all. That is amazing for a lot of different reasons but here are just a few: This enables Nowhere Bookshop to stay in business even during these months where the building is being gutted and costing a fortune. And secondly, an author selling 1,000+ books unexpectedly can make such an incredible impact. It helps in ways you can’t possibly imagine and it helps grow the industry so that more people are able to tell their stories. It encourages publishers to take chances on authors and that means more stories for all of us. Everyone wins.
The only downside is that because I so drastically underestimated how many of you wanted in to this amazing club it means we need to switch over to a different payment system because the one we were using would require us to print out each one by hand and then our hands would fall off. So, if you’re a member you’ll be getting an email from us via Zoho Subscriptions (sometime between now and Wednesday) with your subscription info that you just need to enter your payment info into. Sorry about the growing pains here. Using Zoho will simplify billing for us going forward and will make it easier for you to manage your subscription without having to contact us first. (PS. You’ll be billed on the 10thof each month in case you’re wondering.) If for some reason you haven’t received the Zoho email by Thursday reach out to us at email@example.com and we’ll help you.
So now for the exciting announcement. The first book will be going out to you later this month and it’s so good. It’s called Follow Me to Ground by Sue Rainsford.
(Synopsis: Follow Me to Ground is a haunted, surreal debut novel about an otherworldly woman and her father who are touched by the power to heal illness and live on the edge of a village where they help sick locals – or “cures”- by cracking open their damaged bodies or temporarily buying them in the reviving, dangerous Ground nearby. Slim but authoritative, Follow Me to Ground lingers long after its final page, pulling the reader into a dream between fairy tale and nightmare, desire and delusion, folktale and warning.)
I’m not sure if it’s horror, sci-fi, fantasy realism, folklore, or all four but it’s really haunting and weird and strange and beautiful and as soon as I read it I immediately gave it to my mom to read so I could discuss it with someone and I can’t wait until you read it because someone needs to talk it through with me.
The book isn’t released in America until the very end of the month but we reached out to the author and publisher and they were so thrilled to have so many of you wanting to read it that they agreed to send us copies early. Also, as a bad-ass surprise thank you the author is personally signing 1200 bookplates for the first 1,200 members so if you get in early enough you’ll see that in your package along with your pin and book.
There is a facebook page for the Fantastic Strangelings Book Club but if you don’t do facebook and still want to discuss the book you can totally do that here. Each month when the book ships I’ll announce it on the blog the comments on that post will stay open on that post for discussion. Also, if you just want to read the book and not discuss anything you are not alone so no worries if your favorite part of the book club is just reading and then avoiding all contact.
A few of you were concerned about what the costs were going to be each month since all books have different cover prices and that can be hard to budget for so we’ve decided to just charge a $25 flat fee for each book (plus tax if you’re in Texas, and shipping) each month. Most hardbacks are $23-$27 a month so we’ll eat the extra if it’s more and if we end up with a less expensive book that month we’ll add something extra (like Nowhere postcards or magnets or stickers) to make sure you always get your money’s worth. (Shipping is $5-8 if you’re in America but outside America it’s $20, which is sort of insane and makes me want to open a tiny outlet in Canada in the future.)
The books and nameplates should come in the next week or two (the author is in Ireland signing her little fingers to the bone right now) and as soon as they get here we’ll start packing them and whisking your lovely packages off to you.
Happy reading, you magnificent lovers of books!
PS. I just devoured the book for February and it is SO GOOD, y’all. It’s non-fiction true crime history and so fascinating. And I haven’t read the book I think I’m picking for April yet but what I’ve seen is hilarious and you are going to love it. I don’t want to give out any titles until we’re sure we can get enough books to fill all the orders but I’m so excited.
PPS. Are you overwhelmed by this long post? No worries. Here’s the TLDR: If you’ve already signed up for membership you should have an email telling you that you’re gonna be getting an email which will tell you how to sign up for the subscription service in the next few days. If you didn’t get that first email from us within a day of signing up just let us know at firstname.lastname@example.org. If you don’t get the second letter from us via Zoho subscription by Thursday just email us and we’ll make sure you’re taken care of. If you haven’t signed up yet but want in then just go here to sign up and you will get the welcome letter from us (basically everything in this post) within a day or so (we’re doing this all manually so please be patient) and then the zoho email later to complete your stuff. If you want to sign up now but can’t afford it at the moment you can be an honorary member and read along with a library copy. The Facebook page is open to everyone.
PPPS. For real, thank you. I super crazy love you.
62 thoughts on “Introducing the first book pick for the Fantastic Strangelings Book Club!”
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Hehe, thanks for the TLDR Jenny
Please please PLEASE open a tiny outlet in Canada! I’ll gladly help any way I can ❤️
I live in Canada so the cost is a bit much, but I’d still love to get my own copy and read along and discuss. Am I still able to join the Facebook group?!
(Totally. ~ Jenny)
Have you figured out a way for Canadians to joint yet? So bummed I couldn’t get in.
(Anyone can join but shipping outside of the US is $20 so no worries if you decide to be an honorary member. ~ Jenny)
Oh geez, I missed the last line of the post. Never mind! On my way to join now!
This is gonna be awesome!
Tiny outlet in Canada seconded! With cats and everything, too. 😉
Hey, I’ve been following the romance writers crisis, in which an author of color was banned for pointing out racism. No, it’s wasn’t the racist that was punished, it was the AOC who identified how horrible these stereotypes are, she was reprimanded.
(fwiw this AOC used the f-word in her comments, which… imagine in light of this blog that’s not a problem. but tone policing came out, for those that find it an issue)
anyway I’m not much of a horror-ish reader but looking forward to expanding my horizons. But, can I ask the selections be mindful of representation, especially AOC and/or trans & non-binary authors?
ps if you’d like a summary of the romance authors race implosion, google claire ryan writer–she has the best up to date blog post. the guardian, nytimes, and nbc have also done stories.
thank you jenny for this effort!
Absolutely love this, sadly can’t be a part of the official since I have to sneak in all my book buying through Kindle and audible or my husband freaks out about all the books. Also I live overseas at the moment so shipping is usually quite unpredictable. I’m hoping to participate though still, I love book clubs!
The synopsis sounds interesting. I’m reading Joe Hill’s Full Throttle right now. So happy with it. https://possumscatsthingsgnawingatme.wordpress.com/2020/01/01/new-years-resolutions-couple-goals/
Do you have an Amazon affiliates link for the Kindle version? I’d love for you to get credit since I’m buying it because of you.
(You are awesome. https://amzn.to/2FnciO7 ~ Jenny)
So excited for the first book!!!
OUTLET IN CANADA!!! That would be everything! Unfortunately, until then I’ll have to be happy to be a Stranglings book club lurker. I look forward to reading your first choice. Thank you!
Oh please help us Canadians out once you are settled into things. With the exchange rate, shipping, import fees etc, one $25 book with shipping ends up being $65 CDN. There are enough weirdlings here to help out any way possible!
I’m another Canadian, with a possible workaround …. I’d love to pay to join the club (to support you) but don’t want you to send me any books.
I’ll hopefully source some of the books on my own.
I know basically nothing about online (or offline) retail, but could you add a “no thanks, don’t ship to me” option alongside the international one? If it wouldn’t get messy with respect to taxes and such I bet I’m not the only one who is willing to spend $10 US to be a low-cost honourary member.
I love that you’ve already opened it up for free and I’ll be following along with the Facebook group.
A Canadian outlet would be amazing!
Another option could be to partner with an independent bookseller up here. We could purchase through them but with a small commission to you for the club?
Procrastinated before. Joined today ’cause gotta support the store. Waiting for it to open!!!
So Jenny, if we live in Canada, Mexico our Ireland or??? we can get the kindle book, at half the price but without the extras, you will still get the affiliate credit, I will get the book electronically so my bookshelves don’t explode and I can still be part of this tribe and follow along on facebook? Not meaning to go the cheap route or suck the joy out of it…just trying to be able to afford it and still join in. If this seems ok by you that’s what I will do. If you feel I’m cheating and blowing off the beautiful idea of helping fund your lovely store I get that, too. Not sure you’ll ‘get’ what I’m asking, but if anyone does it will be you. Love you. Thank you!
Another Canadian honorary member (if you’re keeping count). Pre-ordered on audible!
We need an Australian outlet because I assumed the postage was going to be way expensive so I decided not to subscribe.
Jenny, In the third sentence of your synopsis should it be “burying” instead of buying? Just wondering. Will be making a trip to Texas when your bookstore opens. Can’t wait.
I’m part of the procrastination club. Have we missed the cut off to sign up and still receive Follow Me to Ground?
Two cents worth. I’m a member of several international groups for community purposes. And a librarian. I have learned more from looking at points of view , to be more understanding, and patient from those in different countries. Also, people learn in different ways. Some find Kindles & Audibles easier than paper. And, yes, for those of us with mental issues, just to be included makes all the difference in the world. Some books, such as Girl Logic or Tan France or any Neil Gaiman come alive when read by the author. Thanks for your consideration.
I didn’t receive the first email for the strangelings book club.
Goodreads told me I missed my book goal by a rather embarrassingly large amount last year. I’m in the middle of reading (for the first time!!!) Terry Pratchett’s books and the “Rivers of London” series…. I’m not sure I could take this on and do it justice. But I’ll love seeing the comments from those who do join!
I assume it’s too late to join to get the January book, Jenny?
I own a store in Canada if you ever need a tiny existing outpost! So excited for your book club!
I look forward to also being a book club lurker. Not in my budget to buy books – my 6 kids eat a flipping ton, but I will read copies when I can and I am excited for the reading suggestions.
Yes, please! Can we do a digital or audio “branch” of the book club? Due to migraines and lights and the genius of screens’ having dark mode, I do a whole lot better reading digitally (honest!). I do so much better reading digitally!! I know it’s the antithesis if a physical book store. How can we support Nowhere and read the books on kindles?
If you decide to open an outlet in Canada, please choose Beautiful British Columbia (specifically, Vancouver Island) and I’ll run it for you!!! I want to join, but as mentioned, that shipping cost makes the whole package prohibitively expensive. I think this book sounds ultra interesting though, so I’m going to try finding it locally!
Also, as a side note, could you maybe add a subscription of, say, $5-$10 a month US, where the member pays to talk about the book with everyone, but buys it locally? It’s a huge deal to support local, and I’d rather buy it from a small book shop (like Laughing Oyster in Courtenay, BC) than have it shipped (again, that cost though!) from the US. We’d still be supporting the authour, and since the Canadian price is higher than the US price on every single book in this country, we still support the authour at the same level you do! I mean, I know you need the revenue, but wouldn’t you earn more if all you needed to do was grant access to a website? I know a lot more people would join, as not only is the shipping cost high, our dollar has been low for a LONG TIME, and that makes buying anything from the US a real PITA.
Anyway, just a thought 🙂
I really, REALLY want to join the book club. But I really, REALLY suck at actually sitting down to read. So I think what I’m going to do is try to find each month’s book on audible and follow along that way. 😀
It won’t feel quite as fun and exciting as receiving a new book every month. And I imagine I’ll feel less like ‘one of the team’, but at least I’ll get to join in the discussion sometimes. 😀
I can’t afford the club right now…can we join at any time? Very excited!
You’re awesome Jenny!
Would love to sign up as an honorary member and pay for that honor. I don’t see that option on the website though. Love from Switzerland, Cora
Super love that you are including us in the book club even if we aren’t sending you cash. Would absolutely love to support with $$ – but like so many others I just don’t have the free funds at the moment and my life has gotten simpler since I decided that the library would buy and keep all of my books for me. 😉 <3
Could a Goodreads Bookclub work for this? It seems like you can make it private/restricted as needed: https://www.goodreads.com/group/show_tag/bookclub
Just a suggestion if you want to move away from Facebook! I’d really like to get rid of mine this year, but I’m part of a few groups I’d miss.
More than anything I think this is one more big neon flashing sign of how far you have come in the last year or so with your own personal struggles. I know it is a daily thing, and some days are so much worse than others, but five years ago did you imagine that in the space of less than 12 months you would have taken a trip to Europe (and actually left the hotel room) and be in the process of launching your already successful if not open yet bookstore? Standing ovation noisy clapping hands happy tears to you, Jenny!
What a great idea! I’m going to read this book. It looks amazing! Thanks for the recommendation!
First off, I’m so excited about this book. Thank you for finding something that feels special to kick off the book club. I’m an e-book reader, but I’m taking the punt on this real book thing –
I just need to find a way to balance the book off my dogs like I can my reader 🙂 Secondly, I’m blaming you for me now acting like Veruca Salt! “I WANT IT NOW!”
I just joined today. I hope that means I’ll get the January book. So excited!
I read exclusively on my kindle for a variety of reasons, but will gladly buy e-books through an affiliate link if you provide one! This book doesn’t sound like my kind of thing, but the February one does.
While I am too anxious to read scary books, if you do ever want to open a tiny outlet in Canada, I’m in Prince Edward Island (the tiniest province) and would help however I can. Sending love <3
Too scary for me!
For those of us who are severely fund-limited….. could we be part of the club if we get the book through our library? I desperately want to help Nowhere, but am currently struggling to keep the lights on and gas in the car. I’m a voracious reader and would enjoy the strangeling book club.
why do I want to fill my head with scary stuff. Can we read something good, like “”Lab Girl”.
https://youtu.be/22NYKoxkx7Y – thought you would enjoy this video
I’m sure there will be a lot of people like me who plan to order on kindle or audible so the impact is going to be way more than an order of 1100 books 🙂
I’ve been a fan of yours almost from day one. Good luck with your latest venture. You are possibly the funnest person on the planet right now. Yes. I meant to write funnest.
Just joined! Is there any way we could make a Facebook group for the discussion piece of it? I have some privacy concerns about making public comments on Facebook pages (abusive ex situation) so I’d be more comfortable in a group setting. Just a suggestion!
This feels really presumptuous so feel free to ignore me but my husband is a struggling Australian independent author so I wanted to suggest his books for the club. He has a SciFi and two middle grade books released. Check out Robert Tillsley & Black Sky Books. He is on Amazon and could definitely do some signed things etc. Love your work Jenny and the book club and book store idea and everything!
I’m also here to beg for a tiny Canadian outlet!! I so wish I could take part, but that shipping plus US difference in dollars is too much for me… I’ll keep my fingers crossed for someday!!
I cannot wait for this book! So excited.
seriously so excited and can hardly stand. And the pick for this month sounds really interesting and the type of things I’d pick up eventually on my own anyway, so, double-excited!
So excited, can’t wait!
I am finally out of a work-related fog and ordered the book today. Had some points to use for this one, but will definitely consider signing up in the future if the Canadian shipping is decent. Either way, following along and boosting a new author with my purchase.
I hope you always tell us the book o the month. I will use it as my best book rec list. That way I can get the book from the library (to fit my OCD non-clutter, cheap nature), read it and not discuss it publicly at all but hyper-recommend it to my daughter (English major) and mommy (linguist, interpreter, genius). Not to mention that I am totally into true crime right now…
Are you still going to host a help post for people in need?
I am picking Furiously Happy for my choice in my book group (which has been going for 22 years!) The group is a great bunch of people and they need to know about you.
Another honorary member here – not because of nationality, but because of other-brain-ness. I have ADHD like whoa and reading a physical book is nigh impossible. So I am playing along via audiobook [about halfway through btw – it’s short but engaging (that’s what she said) and I can’t wait to see where this is all going (she said that, too)]. I abandoned FB due to the meanness of the world, but I might make a super secret account just for book clubbing!
YEAH!!!! Super excited on this Chinese New Year / Robbie Burns Night … just a festive time of
sushi and haggis. Don’t think about too much, just let it be. But the excitement comes from the delivery of the FIRST EVER book from the Nowhere Bookstore/Fantastic Strangelings Book Club with a SIGNED card from the author of “Follow Me to Ground, a sticker from above referenced book club AND a pin!! Thank you and thanks to Victor, Hailey and Beyonce as well.
I just got my office book club to read “Let’s Pretend This Never Happened” – they all LOVED it, so I guess I don’t have to quit the club 🙂
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