Bookclubz was created as a tool for to serve personal book clubs with an average of 12 members per club that typically met in person monthly. As we've grown through the years we are serving more and more clubs that do not fit this mold, which prompted us to think about ways to support new types of innovative clubs.
Introducing Join a Book Club
In April we launched a new page on Bookclubz.com called “Join a Book Club”. This page is the destination site for any open to the public book club to find new members and vice versa. The focus and mission of “Join a Book Club” is to be a place to increase visibility for wonderful clubs that are curating a community around books and to help all readers find the right book club for them.
How does it work exactly?
If you run a book club that is open to the public and you want to be visible on this page:
Start by creating your club on Bookclubz. Then contact us about adding your club to the page. We will ask you to fill out a form that will help us place your club in the right category. Each club leader gets to decide how they want readers to join, which would either be through the unique Bookclubz invitation link or a facilitated email introduction to the club leader who would then share the unique invitation link with the group.
If you are a reader looking for a book club to join:
Head to bookclubz.com/joinabookclub and you will see all the clubs seeking new members. You can search by location, category or by keyword (name, theme, etc). The club cards will appear with a brief description of the club, what they are reading and directions on how to join.
Currently we have close to 30 public book clubs on our page and they all offer different focuses and experiences. As a reader you can choose from clubs that are led by authors or clubs that are dedicated to reading romance or nonfiction. From local groups to large online communities, there is a book club for everyone!!
Are you interested in leading a public club, but not sure where to start?
It’s safe to say leading a book club of any size requires responsibility and organization so I checked in with Zibby Owens, who is currently leading a 540 member online book club - yes, 540 members!! Her book club Mom’s Don’t Have Time to Read Books formed back in early March and has grown rapidly. On Tuesday I joined their discussion for American Dirt to see just how one of our largest book clubs operates. There were about 90 people in attendance via Zoom. The first 30 minutes were dedicated to open discussion and the latter half of the meeting was resigned for a drop in from the author, Jeanine Cummins. The open discussion flowed organically and there was great respect shared for everyone's thoughts and opinions. Some of the key features to this stellar organization included: muting the microphone on Zoom if you aren’t speaking and utilizing the chat box if you are struggling to get your question answered and/or thought across.
Zibby also shared that while the discussion is mainly open the club does have a few traditions forming, like making a point to go around and introduce yourself and where you’re “zooming” from. Zibby’s book club is featured under our “Read with Us” category and meets weekly! This week they are reading There I Am: The Journey from Hopelessness to Healing―A Memoir.
Zibby’s book club is just one example of the wonderful open to the public clubs that are currently on our new page. If we’ve learned anything in these past years, it’s that there is no right or wrong way to “book club” and we hope to help readers find the right club for them.