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Saturday, February 27, 2016

Book Clubs with Pizzazz

By DiAnn Mills @DiAnnMills

Tweet this: Book Clubs with Pizzazz
Forming a fiction book club within your library may seem a bit daunting, but the enthusiasm and new friendships that form are well worth the effort. It’s not difficult because I’ve done it, and I believe the following information will persuade you to take the initial steps.

This is your opportunity to sponsor an outreach event that shows the women of the community that your library is there for all of them.

Consider this:

  • Women were created with the idea of relationships. If in doubt, read the first few chapters of Genesis.
  • Women look to each other for support and encouragement. We’re compassionate, empathetic, and sympathetic.
  • Women seek out relationships by using their life experiences and faith to mirror their beliefs to others.
  • Women love to get together and socialize.

Sounds like a book club to me.

Take the jitters and fears out of forming a book club by following these ten easy tips to building a dynamic and fun organization. I’ve covered the who, what, where, when, why, and how. After all this is a party!

1. Where do I begin?
    A. Make inquiries - show excitement - generate interest.
    B. Talk to library director to enlist her support
    C. Word of mouth
    D. Article in library newsletter
    E. Notice in library
    F. Community social media announcements

Where do I find participants?
     A. Library patrons
     B. Friends
     C. Neighbors
     D. Among the community

3.  Where do we meet?
    A. What area in the library works best for the meeting?
    B. Have seating arranged in a circular fashion to encourage book           

        discussion. Suggest cell phones be turned to vibrate so not to                 interrupt the discussion.

4.  How and when do members receive their books?
     A. Books are purchased the month before the discussion
     B. Contact a local book store to see if books can be purchased                      in bulk at a reduced price?
     C. Consider some readers prefer an e-copy.
     D. If an author is participating, she may offer the books at a                 

         discounted price and will personally autograph each copy.
     E. Designate one person to be the book buyer.
     F. Arrange for how members pick up their books.
     G. Some members may already have purchased the book
     H. Make sure a copy of the book is retained in the library

5. How are books chosen?
    A. The first book is always the hardest: consider a bestseller or popular

    B. Other ways to choose books
        1. Take a poll of book choices from the members at the first                         meeting.
        2. Find out if there are published writers within your community                     and surrounding area.
        3. Search online book clubs and read reviews from other  

6. How can I make my club 
    interesting and unique?
    A. Invite local authors for    

        discussion. Make sure their   
        books are read the month  
        before the meeting. Writers  
        love book clubs!
    B. Use the discussion questions

        in the back of the book or  
        posted online.
    C. Contact authors who do not live in your area and schedule a call or             Skype meeting.
    D. Celebrate holidays, birthdays, seasons, and special events as part             of the meeting.
    E. Ask for volunteers for refreshments.
    F. Have a contest to see who can invite the most new members.
    G. Have someone write a short report about each meeting and post it              in the library and library newsletter.
     H.  Add contests, a party atmosphere, and fun!

7. Feed them, and they will return.

8. Evaluate your club by having formal feedback
    A. Verbal or written

Establish an e-mail loop to remind others of upcoming meetings.
    A. If book club is Christian, establish a prayer and praise leader.
Are you a member of a book club? What tips can you offer? We want to hear them.

DiAnn Mills is a bestselling author who believes her readers should expect an adventure. She combines unforgettable characters with unpredictable plots to create action-packed, suspense-filled novels.

Her titles have appeared on the CBA and ECPA bestseller lists; won two Christy Awards; and been finalists for the RITA, Daphne Du Maurier, Inspirational Readers’ Choice, and Carol award contests. Library Journal presented her with a Best Books 2014: Genre Fiction award in the Christian Fiction category for Firewall.

DiAnn is a founding board member of the American Christian Fiction Writers; a member of Advanced Writers and Speakers Association; International Thriller Writers, and the Faith, Hope, and Love chapter of Romance Writers of America. She is co-director of The Author Roadmap with social media specialist Edie Melson where she continues her passion of helping other writers be successful. She speaks to various groups and teaches writing workshops around the country.

DiAnn has been termed a coffee snob and roasts her own coffee beans. She’s an avid reader, loves to cook, and believes her grandchildren are the smartest kids in the universe. She and her husband live in sunny Houston, Texas.

DiAnn is very active online and would love to connect with readers on any of the social media platforms listed at


  1. I love my book club! We started as a Christian fiction book club. If you start one in the library, how do you keep the books "clean"?

  2. To keep books clean, I suggest having the choice of books be a club event. The second suggestion is to have book club guidelines that would refrain from questionable material.

  3. you my dear, have gone and planted a bug in my head!! and now i'm gonna gotta get involved or start a book club near my house!!!

  4. You mentioned using the questions at the end of the book for discussion topics. What if you read books that don't have questions or suggestions in the back of the book. Then what kind of discussions take place. I have never been in a book club because I figured you needed to be really smart and articulate to belong.


  5. Robin, You'll make so many new friends. Go for it!

  6. Lillian, My book club doesn't like to use the discussion questions provided at the end of the book. They prefer to discuss the book without them. And there's never been a lack of chatter. Some like talking about the character or motivation or plot or ...


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