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7 Tips For Launching Your Own Virtual Book Club

Updated: Feb 23, 2021

Calling all readers! Has your book club been put on hold in the days of COVID-19? Or have you always wanted to kick-start your own book club?

You’ve come to the right place. Here at BAM, we’re currently making the shift to the virtual world. And while we’ll miss seeing you all in person, our festival has gained so much via this new, online landscape. So can your book club!

Whether you’re a teen just getting into reading or a group of moms who need a break, check out these seven tips for setting up your own virtual book club.

1. Rally Your Friends

The best part of any book club? Getting to hang with your friends. Make a Facebook post or start a text thread to gauge interest. Don’t forget, you can include your friends from all over the country or even the world! And if you’re a student, see if you can advertise your new club through your school.

2. Manage the Logistics

Once you’ve gathered all your members, decide on some logistical issues. Will you meet via Zoom or Facetime (for smaller groups)? You should also figure out the best days and times for your meetings. Send out polls (try Strawpoll) to see what works best for your club.

3. Pick a Name

Now for the fun stuff: pick a name for your group! Maybe your name will be a nod to an epic series or a funny book pun. Either way, picking a name engages your group from the beginning. Take a group vote (polls work great for this, too) to decide.

4. Select Your First Book

So many books, so little time! Selecting your club’s first read is no easy feat. Your first book will set the tone for the club going forward. Are there certain genres your group wants to read? Many books also feature a reader’s guide. Consider choosing one of these so that you’ve got a ready made list of questions!

5. Break the Ice

Keep it casual in the weeks leading up to your first meeting. Maybe start a group chat or Facebook group where you can share brief thoughts about the book. When you first host the meeting, you could even play a game before discussion begins. Check out free websites like Kahoot to get members engaged.

6. Have Fun!

Don’t get caught up in saying the right thing or remembering every detail from the book. Book club shouldn’t feel like homework! If you’re hosting, make sure everyone gets a chance to speak. You want your members to leave feeling energized and heard.

7. Stay In Touch

After your first meeting, make sure you’ve all decided on a way to stay in touch. You don’t want to lose momentum. Maybe even consider picking your next book at the end of the meeting. Need some ideas? Browse our BAM authors for their diverse and engaging reads!

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