By DiAnn Mills @DiAnnMills
Tweet this: Book Clubs with Pizzazz
Forming a fiction book club within your library may seem a bit daunting, but the enthusiasm and new friendships that form are well worth the effort. It’s not difficult because I’ve done it, and I believe the following information will persuade you to take the initial steps.
This is your opportunity to sponsor an outreach event that shows the women of the community that your library is there for all of them.
- Women were created with the idea of relationships. If in doubt, read the first few chapters of Genesis.
- Women look to each other for support and encouragement. We’re compassionate, empathetic, and sympathetic.
- Women seek out relationships by using their life experiences and faith to mirror their beliefs to others.
- Women love to get together and socialize.
Take the jitters and fears out of forming a book club by following these ten easy tips to building a dynamic and fun organization. I’ve covered the who, what, where, when, why, and how. After all this is a party!
1. Where do I begin?
A. Make inquiries – show excitement – generate interest.
B. Talk to library director to enlist her support
C. Word of mouth
D. Article in library newsletter
E. Notice in library
F. Community social media announcements
2. Where do I find participants?
A. Library patrons
D. Among the community
3. Where do we meet?
A. What area in the library works best for the meeting?
B. Have seating arranged in a circular fashion to encourage book
discussion. Suggest cell phones be turned to vibrate so not to interrupt the discussion.
4. How and when do members receive their books?
A. Books are purchased the month before the discussion
B. Contact a local book store to see if books can be purchased in bulk at a reduced price?
C. Consider some readers prefer an e-copy.
D. If an author is participating, she may offer the books at a
discounted price and will personally autograph each copy.
E. Designate one person to be the book buyer.
F. Arrange for how members pick up their books.
G. Some members may already have purchased the book
H. Make sure a copy of the book is retained in the library
5. How are books chosen?
A. The first book is always the hardest: consider a bestseller or popular
B. Other ways to choose books
1. Take a poll of book choices from the members at the first meeting.
2. Find out if there are published writers within your community and surrounding area.
3. Search online book clubs and read reviews from other readers.
6. How can I make my club
interesting and unique?
A. Invite local authors for
discussion. Make sure their
books are read the month
before the meeting. Writers
love book clubs!
B. Use the discussion questions
in the back of the book or
C. Contact authors who do not live in your area and schedule a call or Skype meeting.
D. Celebrate holidays, birthdays, seasons, and special events as part of the meeting.
E. Ask for volunteers for refreshments.
F. Have a contest to see who can invite the most new members.
G. Have someone write a short report about each meeting and post it in the library and library newsletter.
H. Add contests, a party atmosphere, and fun!
7. Feed them, and they will return.
8. Evaluate your club by having formal feedback
A. Verbal or written
Establish an e-mail loop to remind others of upcoming meetings.
A. If book club is Christian, establish a prayer and praise leader.
Are you a member of a book club? What tips can you offer? We want to hear them.
DiAnn Mills is a bestselling author who believes her readers should expect an adventure. She combines unforgettable characters with unpredictable plots to create action-packed, suspense-filled novels.
Her titles have appeared on the CBA and ECPA bestseller lists; won two Christy Awards; and been finalists for the RITA, Daphne Du Maurier, Inspirational Readers’ Choice, and Carol award contests. Library Journal presented her with a Best Books 2014: Genre Fiction award in the Christian Fiction category for Firewall.
DiAnn is a founding board member of the American Christian Fiction Writers; a member of Advanced Writers and Speakers Association; International Thriller Writers, and the Faith, Hope, and Love chapter of Romance Writers of America. She is co-director of The Author Roadmap with social media specialist Edie Melson where she continues her passion of helping other writers be successful. She speaks to various groups and teaches writing workshops around the country.
DiAnn has been termed a coffee snob and roasts her own coffee beans. She’s an avid reader, loves to cook, and believes her grandchildren are the smartest kids in the universe. She and her husband live in sunny Houston, Texas.
DiAnn is very active online and would love to connect with readers on any of the social media platforms listed at www.diannmills.com.