Book Clubs are something that I have always been interested in, that being said in-person book clubs are just not something I like. Being an introverted person I like the feeling of being part of a group without having to actually sit with a large group. I know that seems kind of weird and believe me I am still trying to break out of my comfort zone on that. In today's post, I will give you a few tips if you want to start your own virtual book club.
1. Reach Out On Social Media
To see which of your friends and acquaintances might want to join your virtual book club, put the call out on social media. You could post to your Instagram story, reach out with a Tweet, or even use TikTok if that’s where you post the most these days. You can still text your BFFs individually to invite them, but this way you can also recruit people who you know love reading. After all, you want to make sure you hold each other accountable for actually finishing the books.
2. Send A Cute Invitation
Once you’ve got a preliminary list of who might be interested in joining, send out a cute (and free!) book-themed invitation on Evite. It can be through text, email, or even social media—whatever contact information you have for your potential book club members. Include all the details (when, what, where) and get everyone excited.
3. Pick A Genre/Theme
If you already have an idea about what type of book you want your book club to read, make sure it’s clear from the beginning. Whether you’re looking for folks who love a good murder mystery, people who only want to read nonfiction, or those who want heaps of romance, let everyone know what types of books you’ll likely read. This way, you can make sure everyone is on board and has the same interests. Of course, if you’re open to anything, tell all your potential book club members that, too!
4. Stake Out New Releases & Popular Books
Keep your eyes peeled for upcoming books by popular authors or new movies and TV shows that might be based on books. These are often crowd-pleasers, and you’ll have plenty to talk about. Plus, if you finish the book, then everyone can watch the adaptation over Netflix party or on Hulu together and see what changes were made to the story. Even if the book isn’t out yet, you can always keep an upcoming novel in your sights for the next month.
5. Choose A Page Turner
Once you’ve settled on a genre or new release, choose your book! Even if you’ve decided to delve into the classics, try to start with something that will get everyone hooked. Keeping things lighter, in the beginning, will make sure that everyone comes back for the next read—even if that one’s a bit more serious. Choose a novel or nonfiction book that sparks interest, and discussion and keeps them reading.
6. Create A Themed Cocktail/Snack
As an added bonus, create a themed cocktail for whatever book you’re reading. You can even just take some simple cocktail recipes and give them new names based on the book. If you’re in need of some inspiration, there’s a book of cocktail recipes based on classic literature that’s sure to give you a few good ideas. At the very least, you’ll have some new cocktail recipes to try out! That goes the same with snacks, if there is something prevalent in the book that the characters eat as snacks, find a recipe and share it with the group.
7. Hunt for Discussion Questions (Or Write Your Own)
Unless your book club chooses a novel that isn’t very well-known, you’re likely to find some discussion questions online to help stir the conversation when you all (virtually) meet up. Even if you end up only using the first question, having discussion topics prepared can help make sure everyone stays on topic and spark thoughts from the group.
8. Host Club Meetings on Zoom - Complete with backgrounds
Once everyone has read the book, host a Zoom meeting to discuss it. Just choose a time that works for everyone, and create a Zoom video chat. Of course, you’ll want to include a fun Zoom background with a library or bookish flare to make things especially fun. By clicking on Settings and then Virtual Background, you can upload any photo your heart desires. A cozy home office filled with books is also an ideal Zoom background. Especially if you’re working from home, you can just pretend this is your actual office setup. (A girl can dream.)
9. Reach Out To The Author (It Never Hurts To Ask!)
Find the publisher or author of your novel on social media and reach out. There’s a chance they might be able to pop into your Zoom call for a quick chat. If the author isn’t on tour or in the middle of writing their next book, you might just get lucky. You’ll never know unless you ask.
10. Get Recommendations For The Next Read
If you’re the one who picked the first book your virtual book club read, have everyone send in recommendations for the next page-turner! Send out a survey asking all members for recommendations. Then, you can even have everyone vote on which one sounds best to them. We love a democratic book club.
These types of lists are very helpful when choosing a book to read. I simply Googled "book club books checklist" and then go to images and you should get quite a few of these. Another resource I can recommend is the World Reading Challenge created by TaleAway. I have added so many books to my TBR because of the World Reading Challenge, it's a great way to expand your reading.
There are many more of these list-type posts on how to host a virtual book club. Find one that works for you.
Happy Reading :)