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Tuesday, June 07, 2011

It's a Party and You're Invited!



Nora St. Laurent runs two face-to-facebook clubs near the Atlanta area and is the  ACFW (American Christian Fiction Writers)On-Line 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, http://www.psalm516.blogspot.com,  The Christian Pulse Mag, Title Trakk, Novel Reviews, and Suspense Zone. She is also contributor to Novel Journey blog. Nora and her husband run The Book Club Network www.bookfun.org












Want to start a book club that reads Christian Fiction and don’t know how or where to begin looking for books your club can read?


Are you a Christian Fiction or non-fiction author and want to speak to book clubs but don’t know where to begin finding them?

The Book Club Network is there to connect authors with book clubs and leaders with their books. I work at a Christian book store and when my boss asked me to start a book club at the store I was overwhelmed at the task of selecting books to read for our group. I wanted a meaty book that had more for us to say than,” Wow, that was fun.” What would we do with the rest of the time allotted for book club?

I would look at the rows of books and didn’t know where to begin my search. I only had so much time and the library only had so many books in its shelf where to begin? Hence the birth of The Book Club Network, it grew out of my desire to learn more from other book clubs as to what books worked really well for their book club meetings. It also grew out of my desire to connect authors with book clubs. I saw how books didn’t have a very long shelf life. How were the book clubs going to find out about great, moving novels if they weren’t on the shelf very long? Where do you begin finding Christian authors on Amazon, the thought was overwhelming!


My husband and I started The Book Club Network one year ago in hopes that authors would connect with book clubs and book club leaders would not feel intimidated to interact with authors or other book clubs. Maybe we could help facilitate authors speaking to book clubs on the phone or with the computer via Skype!


The Book Club Network took off and now is close to 1,000 members. I’ve enjoyed watching the authors and book clubs interact. For example authors have asked book clubs what discussion questions work in a book club setting, and which ones don’t. Answers to these questions were interesting and both parties are learning from the other. Exciting to watch!


Book Clubs have set up their book club pages and many of their members have joined their page. A few book clubs are actually having their meetings on-line at TBCN. The leader has put the questions up for the author and the book club members to answer and interact. It’s been great fun to see and learn from their book club discussions.

I've enjoyed watching Book Clubs interact with one another. I've seen leaders ask about certain books they hadn't read to see if any group had read it. I've also seen book clubs share the list of books they are reading this year and have read in previous years? Book Clubs are also sharing ideas about the fun things they’ve done at their meetings and what they hope to do in the future! I’ve learned so much.


I’ve also had people email me asking about where to find book clubs. They’ve always wanted to be apart of a book club but didn’t know where to begin the search. At TBCN we have a member map. It shows where book clubs are located across the USA, Canada, Europe and Austrailia, helping you connect with a group near you. Other members were moving and had belonged to a book club and wanted to join another in their new location. The member map has been a helpful tool for book clubs and book club members seeking out a book club meeting face-to-face or on-line anywhere you they go!

We have monthly contests at the Book Club Network where members have a chance to win big! The last contest we had was called, “Just Desserts”. The winner of this contest won fifty books; twenty five of two different books. The winning club went on to help judge the winning dessert!


We are celebrating in a big way at TBCN. Our first birthday party is on Monday, June 13th at 9p.m. Eastern Standard Time. TBCN will be having the biggest giveaway party we’ve ever put on. We asked authors that are at TBCN and have been our biggest cheerleaders to participate in this event. Many of these authors will be at the party that night. Thanks to these authors for helping this event be fun and successful. We also thank them for helping get the word out about TBCN to the book clubs they speak to. Vicki Hinze, Kathi Macias, Creston Mapes, Ginny Yttrup, Sandra Bricker, Brandilyn Collins, Julie Carobini, Anita Mellott, Mary Connealy, Julie Lessman, Meg Moseley, Melanie Dickerson, C.J. Darlington, Missy Tippens, Janet Dean, Tina Radcliffe, Glynna Kaye, Cheryl Wyatt, Ronnie Kendig, Tricia Goyer, Gina Holmes and Novo Inc.

ALL of these authors will be contributing some really great prizes. We have over $200.00 in gift cards to be given out, lots of books and a super secret grand prize worth over $100.00.

So, check out the fun we’ve been having at The Book Club Network – sign up today and be up on all the latest news about the party www.bookfun.org Check out TBCN on facebook where authors and bloggers post giveaways, author book signings, interviews and exciting book fun news. Join our facebook page https://www.facebook.com/home.php#!/home.php?sk=group_146903260542 and If you’d like your book club featured on the CFOM contact me at TBCN or on facebook.

We’ll be keeping our website and facebook page current about exact items being given away and when.

The event will last about an hour and I hope many of you can be there. In celebration of our party I’d like to help book clubs and readers find great books and give them away at your meetings. I like to give away - NEED TO FIND A BOOK TO PUT HERE (If you want me to do a give away--Let me know) Leave a comment about this article for your chance to win. Join the Book Club Network for extra entries or Join our facebook page for another entry or Twitter about this.

Can’t wait for you to join us in celebrating our first birthday and thanks to everyone here for letting me tell you all about this exciting event.

Looking forward to seeing you there!

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

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