Engage Your Members with a Book Club

group reading at tableStories are always better when they are shared with others, and creating a book club is a great way to for association members to network and foster relationships – either in person or online.

Not sure where to start?  These steps will help you get going.

Set goals: What do you want to get out of it? And what do you want your members to get out of it?  This is also a great time to decide the tone or the theme (e.g., Focus on one genre, or Amazon free-for-all, or best sellers, etc.).

Inform your members: Let members know about your book club to see who is interested.  Note: Keeping the book club between 8 and 15 people will ensure everyone gets a chance to speak.

When? Agreeing on a time can be the toughest part with everyone’s busy schedule.  After dinner when the younger ones have gone to bed seems to be a popular choice among other book clubs.

Where? Consider hosting the club at the association headquarters if possible, or pick a venue that offers adult beverages, and snacks to help the conversation flow. A library provides a nice, neutral location for keeping it simple.

Struggling with member engagement? You’re not alone.
Read our guide, Why Member Engagement No Longer Means Face-to-Face.

Communicate guidelines: This is a perfect time to give the group an idea of what to expect via email.

– How often will you meet? Typically, once a month is good.

– How long will meetings be?  Two hours is the norm.

– Other information the club needs to know.

Meet! The first meeting should be the time to discuss how books and the moderators will be chosen.

– Use the committee to pick books or book genres.

– Will everyone get a chance to moderate, or only a select few who have the time?

Take your club online: Create a virtual book club for members in different parts of the country.

– Find websites that are free and easy to join to allow members of your group to post on a communal site, like bigtent.com or my-bookclub.com (this also eliminates many emails back and forth).

– Become an Oprah.com member and start your own discussion thread anytime with your members around the globe and never worry about a meeting time or place!

Last but not least, for local clubs always be sure to have discussion questions ready before you meet to ensure a lively discussion among your book club members.

 

SEE ALSO: How to Write Blog Posts Members Will Actually Read

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