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The Stunning Rewards of Running a Book Group

What sort of book group are you part of? Ever been part of an online book group? Have you heard of the Tattered Page Book Club?
A book group reads between the wines. Real book groups, that is. They can be tonnes of fun. Snacks, drinks, arguments over books, what’s not to like?
 
For the past few years, though, online book groups have been on the rise. An online book group can only offer virtual refreshments, but the biggest draw of a book group, the book chatter, remains.
 
And unlike a real-life book group, there need be no limits to the size of an online book group. I’ve spoken on Daily (w)rite to admins of such book groups before: Senior Reading Racoons being one. This month, I’ve invited Jennifer and Sabrina from the online book group, Tattered Page Book Club.
 
Take it away, Jennifer/ Sabrina!
—–
 
I’ve always been an avid reader. I would say my love of reading started at a very young age and as soon as I learned how to write, I was writing book reports. I guess it was kinda my way of writing book reviews before I knew what a book review was.
 
Starting a Book Group: How Tattered Page Book Club Started:
 
 Tattered Page Book Club came about when my childhood friend Sabrina Kleymann (who is also a avid reader and reviewer) and I started talking about the book world on Facebook. We both were a part of a lot of book groups but we hadn’t seen a book group that we knew of that accepted all authors and readers. We wanted to see a book group that welcomed all book genre. We wanted to build a book group where everyone was welcome and authors were free to post their books and readers were free to post their reviews. 
 
What Readers and Authors can get out of the Book Group:
One of our top priorities was bringing authors and readers together.
 
So we started Spotlight Author Takeovers. This is a popular feature.
 
Authors can schedule a day to take over the book group. They can post about their books, do Q&A’s, live chats, live readings and more. It has been an incredible way for readers to meet their favorite authors and also new ones. It has also been a great way for authors to gain new readers.
 
We feature these Spotlights three times a week. The book group is also a place that members can come and post their reviews, book mail, and anything book related.
 
We also host events. One of our biggest events is called Thanks-Book-Giving. It is a fun filled event and it is all about giving back to the readers of the book group. We have over 150 authors that come and do 3 days of giveaways.
 
Authors can celebrate with us and while doing so they gain more readers on their social media accounts. Readers, on the other hand, add more books to their TBR lists. Sabrina and I also make sure that our members know the importance of leaving reviews. We remind them that the best way to thank authors for these events is with a review. 
 
The Rewards of Running a Book Group:
 
With the annual events we’ve found that it has helped readers to leave reviews because they want to see their favorite authors come back the next year. These events have brought a lot of new members to the group as well.
 
Sabrina and I never thought our dream of creating this group would gain us 5.3k members. We’ve never been about the numbers though. We just hope that Tattered Page is a place that members feel safe and free to love books and to share freely without judgment on the books and authors they love. We feel that we have achieved that goal. It is one of the greatest rewards we could ask for.
 
The Challenges of Running a Book Group:
 
The few challenges that we have come across is Facebook’s new protocols. It can be challenging trying to figure out what words or posts Facebook would find offensive. A word as simple as monkey can get the group in trouble. For instance, we had an author write that her favorite animal was a monkey, and we got flagged. This puts our group at risk of being shut down. We would love to see these rules change. We don’t feel that it is fair that Facebook can pick and choose what is appropriate for the group. It should be left to the admins. 
 
Important Information about the Tattered Pages Book Club:
 
Sabrina and I have a policy that the book group stays positive. With this we do not approve negative reviews or posts. We don’t want to turn a reader away from a book that they may possibly love. We also want all authors to feel safe and welcome. 
Sabrina and I also run a review page called Tattered Page Reviews. We share these reviews in the book group as well. It is a great way to get our reviews out to more readers. 
 
Sabrina and I are amazed by how incredible our members are. They have welcomed every author and are always sharing posts and keeping the group going. It has been the most fun adventure that we have been part of and it is a bonus to do it together!
 
What sort of book group are you part of? Ever been part of an online book group? What has the experience been like? Have you heard of the Tattered Page Book Club?

My own crime novel, The Blue Bar will be out this October with Thomas & Mercer. It is already available for preorders. Add it to Goodreads or pre-order it to make my day.
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Damyanti Biswas

Damyanti Biswas is the author of You Beneath Your Skin and numerous short stories that have been published in magazines and anthologies in the US, the UK, and Asia. She has been shortlisted for Best Small Fictions and Bath Novel Awards and is co-editor of the Forge Literary Magazine. Her forthcoming literary crime thriller, The Blue Bar is represented by Lucienne Diver from The Knight Agency, and will be published by Thomas & Mercer on January 1, 2023.

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12 Comments

  • hilarymb says:

    Hi Damyanti – I loved the book club I joined on Vancouver Island … fascinating bright women, who introduced me to some incredible books – a mix of fiction and historical, informative books … but now as the others say I prefer to find my own books, often through bloggers’ ideas. Thanks for this – interesting post – cheers Hilary

    • DamyantiB says:

      It makes a lot of sense Hilary πŸ˜€ All we can do is experiment and find what we like in the process πŸ˜€

  • vishnupria says:

    I am part of one of the book group in Facebook and can recollect what you have said here. Through them gained many insights about new books and their views. To me it’s fun to know others perspectives.

  • dgkaye says:

    Interesting post and book club. Personally, I review books on my own, <3

    • DamyantiB says:

      I do agree with you on forming our own reviews. For me the book club is a good place to find a new audience, a new pulse, some fresh perspective I may not have caught on and such πŸ˜€

  • Jemima Pett says:

    I have discovered through being part of a book group, that I don’t like discussing books. As JT says – I’m amazed how differently people react to works of fiction… and I’m happy with my own version, thank you!

  • JT Twissel says:

    I have spoken to book clubs and am always amazed by how differently people react to works of fiction!

  • I cannot imagine a day without reading, yet I have never joined a book club. I wonder why not…

    • DamyantiB says:

      It’s nice to experiment with book clubs. Some of them have some great activities that help writers in various ways πŸ˜€

  • The book club you’ve described sounds like an excellent idea!

  • There are a lot of FB book groups. It’s nice to find out more about one in particular. It sounds like you work hard to make this one relevant and useful.

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