May 10, 2018

Book Club Twist for Readers and Marketing for Authors

By Annette Cole Mastron for Southern Writers Magazine

As we all know, writing is a solitary activity. To be a successful author, you also need to be a reader, another solitary activity. However, it’s important for authors to connect with readers. How to do that is the trick. No one wants to stalk down a reader in the grocery store or any where for that matter. (Yes, that really did happen but it wasn’t me).

Recently, I discovered the “Silent Book Club” formed in 2012. It was humbly started by friends reading at a neighborhood bar. Who wouldn’t love books, reading with friends, and having a glass of wine? No distractions of meeting in member homes. No need to fuss or clean your home. Traditional book clubs require homework. Yuck. Normally, in these clubs, you’re required to finish an assigned book. You also then have the pressure to discuss the assigned book and come up with clever comments that someone else won’t express before you. 

Bucking the norm, a group of friends “started Silent Book Club because reading with friends is awesome. We love hearing about what people are reading (often in their other book clubs) and we think it's important to put down our phones and be social. Real, live, breathing-the-same-air social, not hearting-you-on-Instagram social. We also believe there's no shame in drinking alone, especially when you have a good book for company. In fact, most of the time we'd rather be left alone with our book, thank you very much creepy guy asking what we're reading. And, added bonus for the parents out there: your kids can't follow you into the bar. If only you had a bouncer for your bathroom. But you don't need alcohol to read with friends. Silent Book Club is about community. Everyone is welcome, and anyone can do it. We encourage people all over the world to start their own Silent Book Clubs. We have more than 30 active chapters in cities of all sizes, and new chapters are being launched by volunteers every week.”

As an author, you can always bring your own book and share with your “Silent Book Club” members, People will be intrigued by seeing others reading. Think of the opportunities as an author to interact with fellow readers.

This is the structure of “a typical SBC evening looks like this, but you are welcome to tailor it to make it your own:
6:00-6:30pm - People arrive, order drinks/food, share what they're reading
6:30-7:30pm - Quiet reading hour
7:30-8:00pm - Optional socializing, or just keep reading”

Check out their website and see if there is a group by you. If there isn’t one, you can start a group of your own with just a few of your friends.

So what do y’all think? Traditional Book Club or Silent Book Club?

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