You have probably heard of Reese Witherspoon’s book club at some point over the years. In fact, recently you may have noticed that the mega popular, novel-turned-major-motion-picture, Where The Crawdads Sing, is not only a New York Times bestseller, but stamped with an important sticker: Part of Reese’s Book Club.
So what exactly is this type of club? Why do they matter? Are they just for avid readers or can authors take advantage of these clubs as well? In this article, we get into the following:
- What Is A Book Club?
- Benefits Of A Book Club
- List Of Book Clubs
If you’ve never been part of a club like, or simply want to learn more details about their benefits and how you can take advantage of them as an author, keep right on reading!
What Is A Book Club?
A book discussion club is simply a group of individuals who come together for the sole purpose of discussing books. You will commonly find clubs discussing topics such as:
- What they liked about a book
- What they disliked
- Their opinions
- Book takeaways
While not every club follows the same format, typically, they are laid back with a deep focus on a particular book. Everyone in the club is tasked with reading the same nonfiction or fiction work, and at a specific, recurring time, they all come together for discussion.
Think of this form of club as an in-person forum where you can share your thoughts with other readers, hear their insights, and share the commonality of a love for reading.
Benefits Of A Book Club
Joining a club is a great way to engage with fellow readers, gain more insights into plot and characterization, and hear what’s selling well and why. If you are an aspiring author, joining one such club could be the perfect opportunity for you.
Not only will a club surround you with fellow readers but it will enable you to interact with your potential target audience in person. Below is a list of benefits you may find when joining as a writer.
#1 – Immerse Yourself In Literature
While we may all want to read the classics, it can be difficult to find the time and motivation to do so. Depending on what type of book club you join, you may discover that reading a classic with a group is much more fun than you once imagined. Of course, not every book club reads the classics, but knowing famous stories that stood the test of time can help you grow as a writer.
#2 – Broaden Your Insights
The more you surround yourself with other writers and readers, the more you will discover about the world of books. It’s easy to get stuck in a one-track mindset and walk away from a story with one set of takeaways. When you join a book club, the opposite happens. Yes, you experience your own insights, but you also get the privilege of hearing what others discover through the story.
#3 – Get A Feel For Audiences Across Genres
As a writer, your job is to connect with your target audience in such a way that they read your book and desperately want to read your next one. Book clubs study a myriad of genres, and your target audience is bound to exist in one of them. Joining a book club will help you understand your audience at a more personal level, and ultimately, write better books.
#4 – Learn From Genres You Don’t Naturally Read
While writers read, not all writers enjoy genres outside their own. That said, it’s extremely beneficial to open yourself up to new writing opportunities through familiarizing yourself across genres. Imagine how well you could write historical fiction if you immersed yourself for a month or so in biographies of historical figures?
#5 – Discover Feedback Without Sharing Your Work
One of the larger benefits of joining a book club is taking note of what other readers say about genres similar to yours. It can be intimidating to share your work-in-progress with beta readers, let alone your final draft with an audience. Book clubs allow you the inside scoop on what types of plots and characters work well in specific genres, and which ones do not.
Now that you know several reasons why you could benefit from joining a book club, let’s discuss some actual book clubs you could join or even submit your own book to.
A List To Get You Started
Check out the list below to help you get started in your search today!
#1 – Reese’s Book Club
Popular for a reason, Reese Witherspoon is known for her book-to-screen adaptations. If you want to read up to twenty-four books a year, join Reese’s club! Join 2 million other readers and keep up with both YA and adult reads on social media.
#2 – Between Two Books
Did you read The Goldfinch or love the movie? This book club began in 2012 and was established by fans of Florence Welch. This is an online club with over 100,000 members. A community that always seems to be involved in books somehow (video readings, discussions, etc.) this is a great club to join if you want a more intimate feel.
#3 – Silent Book Club
What if you are an introvert but you want to get out more and interact with other readers? Join one of Silent Book Club’s more than 240 chapters, spread across over 30 countries. This club focuses on readers coming together, not to talk, but to read books in the presence of other readers.
Book Club Steps For Authors
What if you are an author and want to submit your book to a particular book club? You may want to try looking into the Greenleaf Book Clubwhich has been in existence since 1997. When pursuing how to submit a book club, a crucial step is to learn all you can about what readers love.
Unique individuals fill every book club, so while you may want to pitch your book to famous celebrity clubs, it’s crucial to submit your book to the correct audience.
A second way to create an in with a book club is simply by engaging as a proactive member. Invest in the other readers, share your thoughts on books you loved, books you want to read, and authors you aspire to be like.
The more you engage as a member, the more likely other members will respect what you have to say and want to hear your opinion. Once you establish yourself as a contributing member of a group, consider talking with the person who runs the book club and pitching your book as a potential read.
Just as you need to understand your target audience and comparative works when writing your book, these details are vital to getting your book in for a book club as well. Before submitting your work, ask yourself the following questions:
- What types of books has this book club read?
- What books did the members gravitate to?
- How is my book similar?
- How does my book stand out?
Best wishes as you pursue both engaging with a book club as a reader and submitting your own book!