Amazon has entered the book club world with the creation of Sarah Selects. Named after Amazon’s editorial director for books Sarah Gelman, the club’s first selection is Half-Blown Rose by Leesa Cross-Smith, which will be released on May 31 by Grand Central Publishing. The book club, which is the first to feature a selection by a prominent Amazon executive, is available on Amazon Book Clubs, a free service, allowing readers to join book clubs of all genres or create their own.
Readers who join Sarah Selects will receive an email notification for each monthly selection, and can send in questions to Gelman for her to consider during her live-streamed Amazon Live interviews with the authors of the monthly selection. Those interviews will begin in June with Cross-Smith. Gelman's picks will focus on newly released titles. Amazon said that Sarah Selects will feature a range of authors and characters, and will focus on Gelman’s favorite genres, including fiction, romance, mystery/thriller/suspense, biography, memoir, and pop science.
Gelman said the launch of Sarah Selects is a natural extension of the work done by Amazon’s editors. “As the director of Amazon’s editorial team, I get to read a lot of great books. But sometimes I come across one that I can’t stop thinking about, or recommending to friends and family,” Gelman said. “With my new book club, Sarah Selects, I’ll be sharing my personal favorite books with customers, and we can discuss all the ‘can you believe it?’ moments together.”
Gelman joined Amazon in 2009, working in publicity and communications before being named editorial director for books in April 2019. She oversees a team that selects Amazon’s Best Books of the Month, as well as creating monthly lists in categories such as mysteries and thrillers, romance, literary fiction, history, and children’s books. The team also curates the Best Books of the Year So Far and the Best Books of the Year lists on the site.