Nora St.Laurent runs two book clubs near the Atlanta area and this year became ACFW (American Christian Fiction Writers) Book Club Coordinator. She currently writes a Book Club Column for Christian Fiction Online Magazine. You can read her reviews and author interviews on her Finding Hope Through Fiction blog located at http://www.psalm516.blogspot.com/ Nora also runs The Book Club Network on Facebook
Why A Book Club Network?
Where do book club leaders meet Christian authors? How do authors find book clubs? This is made easy at The Book Club Network (TBCN). It’s where authors meet book clubs and leaders get to know them and their books. It’s a safe, one-stop shopping place for both parties.
Not in a book club but want to be? TBCN is for you. Check out the member map to find a book club meeting near you.
Can’t find a group? Why not start one? The Book Club Network is the perfect resource to help you get started. TBCN has book club pages that let you know what they’re reading each month and how their group discussion went. You’ll learn from experienced leaders how easy it is to start a book club. There are book suggestions to pick from. You’ll discover the inner workings of book clubs and so much more.
The Book Club Network grew out of a passion for Christian fiction and the impact I saw it had on people’s lives, including my own. Faith-based fiction affects the reader in an unexpected way. For example, I read Redeeming Love by Francine Rivers. Her story showed God’s love for us in a very tangible way, a way I hadn’t fully grasped until reading this novel. It’s a story that touched my heart to the core and had me look at my love relationship with Jesus in a whole new way.
I’m dyslexic and was a nonreader until about six years ago. In my wildest dreams, I never expected to be leading three book clubs and have a bio wrapped around almost every aspect of the book club experience—this was never my plan. I felt like Moses when he was asked to go set the Israelites free. He said he couldn’t talk well, so he asked God to send someone else. When my friend and then my boss asked me to run a book club, I told them both that I wasn’t book club material and they should consider someone else who had been reading all their lives. Reading and I didn’t get along, and I avoided it at all cost. Why read the book when I could watch the movie was my motto!
But both told me that I was the one and I should pray about it. I knew that in my weakness God would be strong. He is also the ultimate gentleman. He wouldn’t force me to do anything but would gently lead me one step at a time; He would be the lamp unto my feet. So with that settled in my spirit, I started a blog and signed up for blog tours so I could read more Christian fiction. I searched to find the stories that touched the heart, stories that were fun and had a strong spiritual thread.
As I continued to read Christian fiction, the list of amazing books grew and I had the women in my group vote on our book selections. I wanted to share the treasures I found with other book club leaders who have limited reading time and with the bookstore’s customers. I thought we could be an encouragement and resource to one another.
So, I started to write book reviews and do author interviews. I hoped to be a resource to book clubs in their search for just the right books for their reading groups. I hoped to brainstorm with other book leaders about creative ways we could do book clubs and have fun in the process.
Thus, The Book Club Network was born. I wanted a place for authors and book clubs to meet, and for leaders to learn more about authors and their books. I wanted a place where book club leaders and fans could learn about not only Christian authors’ books but also their book signings and speaking events, in hopes that they could meet and encourage the authors in what they were writing. Authors are on the front line and it’s hard getting the word out about these events. It’s also overwhelming for the book club leader to take on the task of finding these events for every author.
Here is just some of what you can find at TBCN:
• Promotions and upcoming special book club events
• Book reviews
• Special field trips or community projects inspired by a book some book clubs read
• Brag on your club
• Tell about the authors who spoke at your group
• Share why you do book club and what you love about it
• Encourage and/or mentor other book club leaders to help them avoid common mishaps
The Book Club Network is the perfect place to share all this and more. It’s a place to connect with not only book club members and leaders but also with authors and their books. We have featured authors, book promotions, and book clubs highlighted each month. The Book Club Network wants to be your one-stop community for book fun. We look forward to you joining the team!
Until Next Time
BRING YOUR WHOLE GROUP!
Or create a group on our Network.