Reading offers such a great escape, but as we continue social distancing and being isolated, some readers are craving interaction. With that in mind, I’ve put together some online book clubs and other resources to help readers stay connected and share their love of all things books.
This is a sampling of some of the reader-centric groups on Facebook. If you don’t see something that interests you here, it’s easy to search Facebook for other genres. Most of these groups focus on sharing books readers love and showcasing new books and authors. Recently, many of them are hosting live author events that give readers a chance to interact and get to know authors they love and meet new authors. Many of these groups have rules and guidelines you will need to read and agree to in order to join. As a note, the groups created by founding authors generally do not permit promotion from outside authors.
A Mighty Blaze: helping writers during the time of the Coronavirus
A Novel Bee: a book recommendation and author adoration group
Blue Sky Book Chat: founding authors connect and share with readers
Bookworms Anonymous: a group of book enthusiasts
Cozy Mystery Crew: founding authors connect and share with readers
Cozy Mystery Friends: cozy mystery readers sharing recommendations
Fantasy-Faction-Fantasy Book Discussion: a reader group from one of the world’s largest fantasy book communities
Great Thoughts’ Great Readers: a group to connect readers and authors
Historical Fiction Book Lovers: a group by BookBub to share historical fiction
My Book Tribe: founding authors connect and share with readers (full disclosure I am one of the founding authors of this group)
Novels N Latte Book Club: a group focusing on book chats and sharing books
Readers Coffeehouse: a group of founding authors with a motto of Books. Love. Peace.
Readers Love Cozies: a place to find mysteries and their authors
Reading with Robin: you’ll find loads of fun author interviews here
The Romance of Reading: a group to celebrate and discuss romantic fiction
Thriller, Suspense, and Mystery Readers Group: founding authors connect and share with readers
Most authors have a presence on Facebook and have an official Author Page, but many, like me, have a private group for their readers and fans. Those groups give authors a chance to interact with their readers and share more with them. Many authors are making more of an effort to appear live in their groups and solicit questions from readers. Some of the groups even have a regularly scheduled book club within them and invite readers to discuss the book of the month.
It’s easy to find author groups by visiting your favorite author’s Facebook page and then clicking on Groups. You’ll see all the groups that are associated with the author page. Most groups require you to answer questions and agree to the rules and guidelines to join.
Other places you’ll find live events and videos of authors reaching out to connect with readers include Instagram, YouTube, and their own websites. Some authors are reading their books live on Instagram or YouTube, and others post videos on their websites where they are talking about their latest books or answering questions from readers.
Several book bloggers and reviewers have Facebook groups and while they are wonderful at featuring new books and reviews, many of them host author interviews and live chats. This allows readers to ask questions about writing processes, characters, plots, books, and whatever else piques their curiosity. Here is a sampling of some great ones:
If you have a book club or group and can’t get together now, consider creating your own Facebook group. You could reach out to authors you read and invite them to be a guest in your group or do a live event.
If you subscribe to a service like Zoom, you could easily create a group meeting where you and your book friends could chat live and invite an author or two to join you. Most authors love to hear from readers who enjoy their books and many are often willing to visit with book clubs online. This can be accomplished by reaching out to the author’s publisher, or in some cases, directly to the author.
If you’re an introvert and don’t mind staying at home and reading, these recent days are probably not as hard for you as those who may be more extroverted and are missing their social interactions. As much as I like staying home and am an introvert, there is a certain amount of stress and anxiety associated with all the uncertainty and fear hanging over us and bombarding us on every channel.
Rather than let the stress and worry overcome us, I think it’s a great time to reach out to others. Find a reader group that tickles your fancy or reach out and find genre-specific or author-specific groups that are a good fit and contribute your bookish thoughts. Much like I’ve found comfort in watching some of my favorite musical artists perform from home, I’m also enjoying watching and listening to some of my favorite authors chat about their days and what they’ve been doing or sharing their new books.
Although we may be isolated and feeling alone, a connection and even a whole community are no more than a click away.
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