Nora St. Laurent runs two book clubs near the Atlanta area and is the ACFW (American Christian Fiction Writers) Book Club Coordinator. She currently writes a Book Club Column for Christian Fiction Online Magazine. You can read author interviews on her Finding Hope Through Fiction blog, located at http://www.psalm516.blogspot.com, and reviews around the web at The Christian Pulse Mag, Title Trakk, Novel Reviews, and Suspense Zone. Nora and her husband run The Book Club Network www.bookfun.org
One Year Birthday Bash
The Book Club Network (TBCN) celebrates its first birthday this June. To celebrate we are having a huge birthday bash! Over twenty authors have come together to give away books, gift cards, and even a Kindle. Little did we know all that would happen when we launched TBCN a year ago.
We are honored to be able to connect authors with book clubs. They interact and learn from one another about what works in a book club and what doesn’t. Readers and authors gain insight into the book club experience. For instance, authors asked book clubs what type of discussion questions they look for. Many book club members responded. The clubs that meet in a public setting said that they choose questions that are of a non-personal nature, where they mainly talked about the characters in the book.
Miralee Ferrel shared, “Last week I posed a question on the ACFW book club loop, which has a large number of readers who are not authors. So often we authors give away copies of our books on blogs in hopes of generating sales or acquiring new readers, but I’ve always wondered if doing so actually translates into sales, or if we’re simply throwing our money away. I asked the members of the book club if they’ve ever purchased a book as a direct result of seeing it on a blog give away but not winning it.
“I got a number of responses . . . most of them posted some great comments. About 40 percent of the respondents said they’ve never gone on to buy a new book as a result—but they did watch for it in the library or at a used-books store. If they liked the author, they’d put it on their Amazon or CBD wish list for future books by the same author. The other 60 percent said they have (at least one time) purchased the featured book because their interest was piqued by the blog post. At least one person said she’d won the second or third book in a series and immediately purchased (new) the first one to go with it. Another person said she’d won a book, loved the author, and went on to purchase the rest of the series when they came out.”
Lisa Liskel started this interesting discussion at TBCN about the back of books. She says, “My informal poll to the ACFW book club group asked ‘Do you look at the back cover first or second?’ Only one person (an author, go figure) looked at it first. Most said they looked at it after checking out the front; three said they don’t usually look at the back cover; two said they rarely look at all. When asked ‘What do you like to see on a back cover? Accurate, enticing teasers without giving too much away?’ One person said reviews, and a couple people said endorsements; one person said something about the author. When asked ‘Did you ever buy a book because of the back cover?’ Most said yes, that the back cover blurb influenced them to buy the book.”
These are just a few of the many interesting discussions at TBCN. Thanks to the many sponsors, we’ve been able to have several contests for book clubs. This birthday bash will be a “Live” Scavenger Hunt. We hope all will attend this event.
On Monday, June 13 at 9p.m. Eastern Standard Time we will host our party at The Book Club Network site. Not a member of TBCN? Go to the The Book Club Network’s Facebook page for the link to the party or check out our front page www.bookfun.org. It will be a live event with most of the authors mentioned above in attendance.
The following authors have been a big support to TBCN and sponsored us in many different ways: Vicki Hinze, Kathi Macias, Creston Mapes, Ginny Yttrup, Sandra Bricker, Brandilyn Collins, Julie Carobini, Anita Mellott, Mary Connealy, Julie Lessman, Meg Moseley, Melanie Dickerson, C.J. Darlington, Missy Tippens, Janet Dean, Tina Radcliffe, Glynna Kaye, Cheryl Wyatt, Ronnie Kendig, and Novo Inc. All of these authors will be contributing some really great prizes. We will be giving away over $200 in gift cards, lots of books, and the grand prize of a Kindle!
This event will take place at The Book Club Network’s Ning page and will be a live event with most of the authors mentioned above in attendance. We’d love to be your one-stop shopping place for great deals on giveaways and author events. We’d love for you to be there for our Birthday Bash! Get to know authors and their books, and be there to win some pretty great prizes.
If you’re a book club, I’d love to feature your book club here in the Christian Fiction OnLine Magazine and also on my blog, Finding Hope Through Fiction. Please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thanks to all of you for a very successful first year. Here’s hoping for many more! We hope to bring you more contests and insightful interviews with authors, along with discussions that will be helpful for authors and book club members.
Until next time.
BRING YOUR WHOLE GROUP!
Or create a group on our Network.