How To Start A Virtual Book Club: The Ultimate Guide
Do you love reading? Do you love talking about books even more?
Then a virtual book club may be the perfect fit for you! In this guide, we will teach you how to start your own virtual book club. We’ll cover everything from finding members to picking books to discussing them.
So whether you’re a seasoned bookworm or just getting started, keep reading for all the info you need to learn how to start a virtual book club.
What Is a Virtual Book Club?
A virtual book club is a group of people who read books together and talk about them online. Typically, members meet on a forum or chat room to discuss the book and post their thoughts. Some clubs even have monthly or weekly discussion prompts to help get the conversation going.
Why Start a Virtual Book Club?
There are many reasons to start a virtual book club. Maybe you love talking about books and want a more structured way to do so. Or maybe you’re looking for a group of people to read with and discuss books with online. Whatever your reason, a virtual book club is the perfect way to get connected
Differences Between Running Online Book Clubs and Typical Book Clubs
There are a few key differences between running an online book club and a traditional, in-person book club. For one, virtual book clubs don’t require any physical meeting space. This can be really helpful if you live in a rural area or don’t have easy access to a local library or bookstore. Additionally, virtual book clubs allow for more flexibility when it comes to meeting times. Members can participate in discussions at any time that works for them. This is especially helpful if you have busy schedules or work odd hours.
How To Start Your Own Online Virtual Book Club
Step 1: Pick a Book Club Platform
The first step to starting your own book club is to pick a book club platform. There are a number of places you can find that can facilitate your book club. Some groups tend to meet on social media apps like Instagram or Facebook.
P.S Did you know I help run a book club with a number of amazing girls? It’s called TBR & Beyond. We’re constantly growing and have so many amazing monthly challenges we do.
There are a number of other platforms you can start your bookclub on as well. These are a few that come to mind;
Step 2: Find Members
The next step on how to start a book club is to find members. How the heck do you expect to start a book club without members? Now, listen close…
I highly recommend you keep your book club small when you’re first starting off. Book clubs take a lot of work. They require the reading of the actual book, finding questions for discussion and being engaged with your members on a daily/weekly basis.
There are a number of places you can find initial members – one of the best places to find people who would be interested in joining your virtual bookclub is on Instagram. Make a post or story telling people you have a book club in the making! Lots of bookworms would be excited to join.
Step 3: Pick a Book to Read
The third step (and possibly one of the best steps) is picking your book to read!
What is your book club genre going to be about? Will you guys be reading thrillers? Mysteries? Or Fiction? Once you know the genre, you can pick 2-3 books that your group can vote on. Or you can just choose a one book and have the group read it without voting. It’s totally up to you.
Step 4: Pick a Name For Your Book Club
Once you have members and the genre your book club is going to read – it’s time to pick a name! Be as creative as you want when deciding on a virtual book club name.
Step 5: Decide On A Video Platform
This step might not be for everyone, but depending on how you run your book club – if you choose to meet each month on a video call, you’re going to have to choose a video platform to meet on. You can either choose Google Meet, Zoom, Facetime or any other video platform you can think of! Remember to send you members a video link a few days before, so everyone is able to join when they’re ready.
Step 6: Find Questions For Discussions
As your virtual book club starts reading the book of that month, it’s time to choose your discussion questions. A lot of these questions will arise as you read the book – so it’s always best to take note of any characters, relationships or such that stand out to you. Some can also come from doing your own research of the book and see what other book reviewers are saying about the novel.
Tips for Successfully Running an Online Book Club Meeting
1. Make a Plan
Like any other meeting, it’s important to have a set agenda for your virtual book club meetings. This will help keep things on track and ensure that everyone has a chance to participate.
2. Be Prepared
Just as you would be for an in-person book club meeting, make sure to come prepared with discussion questions. And if you’re having trouble finishing the book or getting into the book – let your members know, perhaps the audiobook is better than the physical novel?
3. Keep It Organized
Use a tool like Google Drive or a forum to keep track of discussion threads, book club members, and upcoming meeting dates. This will help ensure that everyone is kept in the loop and knows what’s going on.
4. Engage, Engage, Engage!
This book club is a great place to make friends, so try to engage with your members as much as possible. Answer questions, and encourage them to talk about all things bookish!
5. Have Fun!
This is a simple step, just have fun!
Fun Ideas & Activities For Running a Book Club Online
A virtual book club can be more than just a regular book club – you can always do some fun events. Here are some ideas for you;
- Reach out to the author and see if they would be interested in speaking or answering some questions
- Prepare some drinks or snacks to have them during the book club
- Create an activity sheet to go along with the book
- Watch the movie or TV show that’s based on the book you’re reading
- Play games like Book Bingo, Literary Charades, or Name That Author.
By the way! I have a segment on my blog known as “The Bookish Bar” where I create drinks inspired by books. So, if you’re ever interested in trying one of these drinks or working with me to create your own, let me know.
Here are some of my favorite recipes;
Mango Mocktail Inspired By Fable
Strawberry Henessy Inspired By Red, White & Royal Blue
Winter Moscow Mule Inspired By Harry Potter
Spiked Hot Chocolate & A Mystery Book
Benefits of Starting a Book Club Online
There are so many benefits for starting a book club online. Here are some of my favorite reasons to consider a virtual one vs. in-person.
One benefit is you have access to a larger pool of potential members. With the internet, there’s no need to live in close proximity to other book lovers in order to join or start a book club. You can find people from all over the world who are interested in reading and discussing books.
Another benefit is flexibility with meeting times and discussions. As we mentioned earlier, virtual book clubs allow for more flexibility when it comes to meeting times and discussion topics. This can be really helpful if you have a busy schedule or want to discuss specific aspects of a book in more depth.
A third benefit is no need for physical space. Like we said before, virtual book clubs don’t require any physical space which can be great for people who live in rural areas or don’t
There are a lot of great reasons to start and run a virtual book club. If this is something you have been thinking about doing, now you know how to start an online book club, so go ahead and get started today!
Comment below what your ideal genre to read would be if you started a book club!