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Saturday, July 17, 2010

The Bookclub Network

FIRST BOOK CLUB NETWORK CONTEST

I’m excited about The Book Club Network community, and I hope after reading this article you’ll be excited about it too.

We need you - Authors and Book Club leaders to spread the word to make this work. Authors, if you’ve spoken to a book club on the phone or in person we’d love for you to tell that book club about TBCN, it’s a place where they can connect with other book club leaders and also learn about the other exciting authors here at the network they can tap into for future reading.

Book Club Leaders - I’d love for you to use this place for your book club members to connect with between meetings, or help catch up members who couldn't make the meeting that month. It's also a place you can share your book club experiences with leaders, brainstorm with others for a very special book club meeting or community out reach project. Know of other book clubs tell them about the book club network. Have them join in the fun.

AUTHORS – Tell book clubs about TBCN. If 4 of the book clubs you told join TBCN we will feature your books at TBCN for a month (free) and do an author interview with you on my blog.


WHY A BOOK CLUB NETWORK?

Where do book club leaders meet Christian authors? How do authors find book clubs? This is made easy at the BCN - The Book Club Network. It’s a place where authors meet book clubs and leaders get to know them and their books. It’s a safe, one-stop shopping place for both parties. Not in a book club but want to be? This is the place for you. Check out the member map at the BCN to find a book club meeting near you. Can’t find a group? Why not start one?

The Book Club Network is the perfect resource for you to get started. We have book club groups that have pages set up at the BCN, letting you know what they are reading each month and how their group discussion went. You’ll learn how easy it is to start a book club from experienced leaders. There are book suggestions to pick from and you’ll discover the inner workings of book clubs and so much more.

How did The Book Club Network develop? It grew out of a passion for Christian Fiction and the impact I saw it have on people’s lives, including my own. Faith-based fiction impacts the reader in an unexpected way. Jesus was the greatest story teller. His stories were simple and had, and still have, an important message everyone could relate to. For example, I read Redeeming Love, a novel by Francine Rivers. Her story showed God’s love for us in a very tangible way, a way I hadn’t fully grasped until reading this book. It’s a story that touched my heart to the core and had me look at my love relationship with Jesus in a whole new way.

I’m dyslexic and was a non-reader (of novels) until about six years ago. In my wildest dreams, I never expected to be leading three book clubs and have a bio wrapped around almost every aspect of the book club experience - this was never my plan. I felt like Moses when he was asked to go help set the Israelites free. He said he couldn’t talk well, so he asked God to send someone else. When my friend, and then my boss, asked me to run a book club, I told them both I wasn’t book club material and they might consider someone else who had been reading all their lives. Reading and I didn’t get along and I avoided it at all cost. Why read the book when I could watch the movie was my motto!

But, both of these people told me I was the one and that I should pray about it. I knew that in my weakness God would be strong. He is also the ultimate gentleman. He wouldn’t force me to do anything but would gently lead me one step at a time; He would be the lamp unto my feet. So, with that settled in my spirit, I started a blog and signed up for blog tours so I could read more Christian Fiction. I searched to find the stories that touched the heart; stories that were fun and had a strong spiritual thread.

As I continued to read Christian Fiction, the list of amazing books grew and I had the women in my group vote on our book selections. I wanted to share with other book club leaders, who have limited reading time, and customers that came into the book store, the treasures I found. I didn’t have time to read every book so I thought we could be an encouragement and resource to one another.

So, I started to write book reviews and do author interviews. I hoped to be a resource to book clubs in their search for the right book for their group. I hoped to brainstorm with other book leaders about creative ways we could do book clubs and have fun in the process.

Thus, The Book Club Network was born. I wanted a place for authors and book clubs to meet, and for leaders to learn more about authors and their books. I wanted a place where book club leaders and fans could learn not only of the Christian author's books but of their book signings and speaking events, in hopes that they could meet and encourage the authors in what they were writing. Authors are on the front line and it’s hard getting the word out about these events. It’s also overwhelming for the book club leader to find out about these events.

Bookstores only have so much shelf space to hold existing books and very little room for the new ones. Buying books on Amazon can be an overwhelming task. If you want to read Christian Fiction, how do you know what authors write it? If you don’t have a lot of time for research and time to read lots of books, like I do, choosing just one book can seem unrealistic.

At The Book Club Network, book clubs have the groups set up; anyone can stop by their club and see what they’ve read and discussed. There are resources for you to learn how to start a book club, or find a book club to join at the BCN. There is a member map you can click on and check out a local book club near you. Here is just some of the information you can find at BCN:

- Want to promote and share an upcoming special book club event? Here’s the place to do it.
- Read a great book and had the best reaction from your group and want to share? Who better to share it with? Other book club leaders and members that can appreciate what you are telling them.
- -Experienced a special field trip or community project with your book club you just want to share? Tell others what book inspired your trip or project. Do it at the BCN.
- Want to brag on your club and/or the authors that just spoke at your group? The Book Club Network is just the community that would appreciate what you have to say and learn from it.
- Want to share why you do book club and what you love about it? Want to encourage and/or mentor other book club leaders to help them avoid some of the mishaps you’ve had? Then this is the place for you.
- Want to have chats with other book club leaders and brain storm with them and/or throw an idea out there to get their opinion on it? Willing to share how you run your meetings and how you keep and get a lively discussion going with your group? You'll find lots of ideas and answers here.

The Book Club Network is the perfect place to share all these items and more. It’s a place to connect with not only book club members and leaders, but it’s a place to connect with authors and their books. We’ll have featured authors, book promotions and book clubs highlighted. The Book Club Network wants to be your one-stop community for book fun. We look forward to you joining the team!

See you at The Book Club Network.
Until Next Time

Nora St.Laurent
Finding Hope Through Fiction
www.psalm516.blogspot.com

6 comments:

Hilary St. Laurent said...

Hey! If you wanna join the Book Club Network, you can go here to www.bookfun.org!

Check it out!!!

Anonymous said...

THANKS Jessica and Gina for helping spread the word about this contest and the book club network. Exciting things are happening there already with Authors getting a sneak peek into the book club world and see what the leader goes through in choosing their book selections for the group.

Authors are also sharing of their experiences they've had at book club. It's been fun to see both camps learning from each other.

Blessings
Nora St. Laurent
The Book Club Network
www.bookfun.org

Fred said...

Thanks to everyone from TBCN in advance for encouraging Nora and Novel Journey by leaving a comment :-)

Littluns said...

Nora, you have set in motion what has the potential of become a unifying movement, with profound impact and infinite possibilities, some of which you have inspired above. In your wonderful vision The Book Club Network is poised to connect book clubs everywhere offering one central network location; a cross-pollination that can have a tremendous impact and power for small book clubs to be more noticed, for readers and the fiction Christian authors who serve God in His love for all of us. A book club network connected on the largest possible scale for lovers of the written word.

Edwina said...

Nora,

I think the Book Club Network is a fabulous idea and you do a wonderful job with the club!

Lucie said...

I just wanted to be sure and leave a comment because Nora has been so encouraging to me as a book club leader.
I really grasp her vision of bringing book authors together with book clubs!
I have such huge hopes and quite a vision for my own book club here in Fortuna, CA so I can so relate to this heartfelt movement.
I truly see this as a 'movement'. Let's take the world by storm! (Phil. 4:13)

Blessings,
Lucie