Starting a book club is a huge task. There are quite a few things to consider: synergy, engagement, what to read, and how to find the time to read a 200-page book when you barely have time to read this blog! Don’t worry, sis. I’ve got you.
Brainstorming Questions – Before You Start Your Book Club
These questions will help you determine key group details before involving others. It’s important to establish some of the groundwork before presenting the book club to your initial or founding members.
Do I want to attract a group of avid or casual readers?
Do I want to start off with an intimate group? If so, 4-8 members are ideal.
What will be the overarching theme (women’s empowerment, female indie authors, growth mindset)?
Should we meet at a private or public place?
What type of refreshments should I provide? See Book Club Bae recipes for a list of appetizers and cocktails.
How can I invite and attract members?
Do I want to establish a group of founding members to help me run the club or do I want to lead it independently?
Who do I already personally know that enjoys reading? If you don’t know anyone personally, consider starting a virtual book club on Goodreads or Fable.
Should I ask each initial or founding member to invite a friend to grow the group, or keep it cozy at first to establish rapport?
Initial Meetings Topics Checklist
Your initial meeting should lay the groundwork for subsequent meetings. You can provide refreshments and provide this opportunity for everyone to get acquainted.
☐ Create bylaws and guidelines for running future meetings.
☐ Set membership fees for venue rentals, refreshments, and providing additional resources.
☐ Select meeting locations and dates for future meetings.
☐ Decide how often to meet and what time, then block off your calendars.
☐ Decide whether you’d like to support independent authors and invite them to attend your book club meetings.
☐ Decide on whether to use catering or a potluck approach for refreshments.
☐ Assign the following quarterly roles: reading list manager, treasurer, and administrator for sending out book selections and reminder emails.
☐ Decide on the preferred genre and book price budget. Then select books for the next 2 meetings to allow time for ordering and reading.
☐ Collect all members’ contact information, create a collective event calendar, and extend invitations to join.
Book Selection Options
Each member can submit a book suggestion for an upcoming meeting, the group will then cast votes.
The book reading list manager can present books based on popular club lists or interesting book reviews in your genre for the group to vote on.
The group may choose to read from a particular writer’s catalog.
Book Club DQs (Discussion Questions)
On a scale of 5 stars, how would you rate the book? Why?
What were your biggest takeaways from the book?
Name something you weren’t aware of before reading this book.
What topic, character, or scene did you relate with the most?
Name something the author did well.
Were there any underdeveloped parts of the book or areas where you wanted more?
Do you have a favorite quote or passage that you’d like to share?
Did you feel this book was original? Why or why not?
If you could ask the author one thing about this book, their writing process, or their inspiration for this project, what would it be?
Would you read another book by this author? Why or why not?
I’d love to meet your book club!
If you’re interested in inviting me to attend your book club meeting to discuss my contemporary women’s fiction novel, Beauty Beheld, please submit a Book Club Meeting Request form for review.
I can’t wait to meet you!
Zariah L. Banks