Nora St. Laurent is the CEO of The Book Club Network Incorporated and runs two book clubs near Atlanta, Ga., Former ACFW On-Line Book Club. Nora currently writes a Book Club column for the Christian Fiction OnLine Magazine and is a Book Club Talk Columnist for Novel Rocket. 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
It's Our Birthday!
My husband, Fred, is and always has been an avid reader. He is the computer whiz who helps me at TBCN website. He also is an aspiring author who sends out the funniest messages to get people engaged in participating in TBCN’s monthly contests, and inspiring people to nominate and vote for TBCN’s book-of-the-month feature. Let’s hear from Fred about some new developments at The Book Club Network.
My wife, Nora St. Laurent, was asked to start a reading group. She initially resisted because she has dyslexia and didn’t read for pleasure; however, she felt strongly that this was a calling God was laying on her heart. She had to obey.
Nora now runs a reading group at the bookstore where she works and another one at the church we attend. The two clubs, Finding Hope Book Club, have about seventy-five registered members. Nora was also the ACFW Book Club Coordinator until March of this year, when she resigned so she could spend more time at TBCN and running these two book clubs. Last year, Nora read over 100 books and is well-known for her reviews and interviews on her blog, Finding Hope Through Fiction, as well as many others.
We observed that many authors seemed to work harder marketing their books than they did writing them. Other authors, though published, were having difficulty reaching readers. The Book Club Network was born out of our desire to bring readers, book club leaders, and authors together. We also wanted TBCN to be a place where people could access resources to start a book club and a safe place to share between book clubs and authors.
TBCN (www.bookfun.org) will be celebrating its two-year anniversary in August. We have over 2,000 members and are averaging about 20,000 hits per month. We have been asked to write a monthly column for CBA Retailers + Resources magazine, featuring the top three fiction and nonfiction books that our members nominate and subsequently vote on. The monthly winners of each category will be voted on at the end of the year. Our first TBCN Reader’s Choice fiction and nonfiction books of the year will be awarded at the 2013 ICRS conference in St Louis.
We offer a free platform for authors to meet with readers and book club leaders from around the world. An author or publisher can set up a page and then host a group. They can upload pictures, videos, and offer giveaways. We encourage you to entice our members to your blog or Facebook page. All of this is free.
One other aspect that has developed is our relationship with retail store owners. Through the CBA, we are meeting owners and some are setting up their stores on the site. We encourage owners to facilitate what we call an “Oasis” in their stores or in their churches if they do not have the space.
Thanks, Fred, for sharing TBCN’s new developments. I wanted to mention that we also welcome book clubs to set up pages and share what they’ve been reading and authors they’ve met.
They can include pictures from field trips they’ve taken. We also encourage them to have their actual book club discussion at TBCN with the author so others can enjoy the discussion too!
We give away over fifty books a month. August is TBCN’s birthday party, and we’ll give away ten books a day during our birthday month! That is right, more than 300 books will be given away by some of our authors and Bethany House publishers!
May’s line up of giveaway titles include Gone to Ground by Brandilyn Collins, Travelers Rest by Ann Tatlock, Bonnie Calhoun’s new book Cooking the Books, The Bride Wore Blue by Mona Hodgson, It’s My Time to Grieve by Phoebe Leggett, Trauma Plan by Candace Calvert, Discovery by Dan Walsh, The Pursuit of Lucy Banning by Olivia Newport, and Words Spoken True by Ann Gabhart and Relentless Pursuit by Kathy Herman and Harvest of Rubies by Tessa Afshar.
Contests are held every month from the 19th through the 21st. Mark your calendars and join us at www.bookfun.org for lots of book fun!
Calling all book clubs!! I’d love to hear from you and feature your book club here at the magazine. Please contact me at the above address so we can set up an interview of your club.
If you are an author and would like to be featured and participate in a giveaway at The Book Club Network, please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org. I’d love to talk with you.
Until Next time
BRING YOUR WHOLE GROUP!
Or create a group on our Network.