Nora St. Laurent

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 Nora also runs The Book Club Network on Facebook 

The Book Club Network (TBCN)

The Book Club Network (TBCN) is an online site where book club members and authors meet. Face-to-face book clubs have set up book club pages so members can see what different clubs are reading and discussing. TBCN held its first contest on August 1 to see which book club could get the most new members to join their book club page at the network. Book club leaders worked hard at rallying their members to join the network, and it was thrilling to watch the close race between them.

Redeemed Readers Book Club won by getting twenty-six of their members to join TBCN. Sheryl Barnes, their leader, was motivated to win the fourteen books I offered as the grand prize. Many of the books I gave away featured several of the authors who are members of TBCN. Sheryl was overjoyed to have access to their books and potential book club picks.

I want to acknowledge the other clubs who worked hard in motivating their members to join the network. These book clubs members have never been involved in a book club site or any other social gathering, and many are not computer savvy. Some of the leaders were creative in how they got their members to join; one even brought her laptop to the meeting and helped her members get connected.

Calvary Chapel Book Club leader Rachel Savage, Faith in Fiction Book Club leader Brandi Fitzpatrick, and Chick Lit Book Club leaders Lucie Buchert and Deborah Leathers will also receive books. Here are some of the authors’ books given away who are members of TBCN: Long Time Coming by Vanessa Miller, The Healer’s Apprentice by Melanie Dickerson, Medical Error by Richard L. Mabry, M.D., Blood Brothers by Rick Acker, Monday Night Jihad by Jason Elam and Steve Yohn, The Heart’s Journey Home by Jen Stephens, Seeds of Summer by Deborah Vogts, and Meander Scar by Lisa Lickel.

Thanks to Ane Mulligan from Novel Journey for donating books for the giveaway. Leaders are excited about reading these potential book club picks. Again, many of the authors are members of TBCN, which makes it easy to ask them to speak at their clubs.

Many of the book club leaders have told me they are enjoying the site for several reasons:

1. Book club leaders are having great fun connecting with authors. They feel less intimidated to talk to them here. We’ve seen authors and book clubs learn from one another. It’s been great fun to watch.

2. It’s a way for authors to post book signing tours and special book events for the fans and potential fans. Book club leaders can plan special events to meet and support authors.

3. Leaders discover who the Christian fiction authors are, what they are writing, and where they can meet them in person. It’s a book leader’s one-stop network for book club fun.

4. The network is a place where members who’ve missed a few meetings can stay connected with the group and see what the group has been reading.

5. Everyone can stop by the book club pages to see what other clubs are reading that month and how their meetings went! It’s been very interesting to see what everyone is doing.

6. A couple of the book club leaders said it’s a great way to keep in touch. These club leaders have a few members that live in different locations six months out of the year.

7. This is not a social network where a daily commitment is expected, nor will you be bombarded with page suggestions to like or ignore, get requests to help build a schoolhouse on Frontier Ville, or help with a hit on Mafia Wars! Ha! Ha!

My hope is for the TBCN page is to be something similar to that of Weight Watchers; hear me out. You can Google Weight Watchers and find out where meetings are being held all throughout the country. My hope is for members and authors to locate book club meetings wherever they travel or live. We’ve had several people want to join a book club in their area but didn’t know how to go about finding one. Our hope is for that person to get into a book club by using TBCN.

Congratulations to Creston Mapes for winning the author contest. He campaigned on behalf of The Book Club Network and got five book club leaders to join. Creston Mapes has written three books: Dark Star, Full Tilt, and Nobody. We will feature him at The Book Club Network for one month. I will also be promoting him on my blog, Finding Hope Through Fiction, with a giveaway and interview.

TBCN will be running another author contest soon so you can get in on the fun. The Book Club Network is almost four months old and has over 600 members. With your help we can make this the one-stop place of book club fun for authors and book club leaders alike! TBCN is the place where creative ideas are shared for the best book club experience for the author and book clubs.

My hope is for the book club leaders to brainstorm future book club ideas that will help bring out a book’s theme in a creative way. Book club leaders can support authors and their efforts in a powerful way by knowing their book releases and events. So check us out, and join in the fun at The Book Club Network, your one-stop community for book fun. We look forward to you joining the team

See you at The Book Club Network.

Nora St.Laurent
The Book Club Network


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