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    1. Littleflower is offline

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      #1

      Women Book Club - Profitability in Starting a Ladies Book Society

      Was hoping I could get some advice from any of you kind readers. I am considering starting a women’s book club. Does anyone have any advice for me to get started? I am wondering, what is the best way to do it profitably.
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      Based on my experience of being in several book clubs and having run one a while ago, I can give you some good advice. I must say that most clubs are purely social and it is not traditionally a for-profit business model. That being said, you can gain enough popularity for you make it a fee-based membership.

      Things to consider before you get started.

      1) Decide what kind of books you want to read. Determine your focus. Do you want to assign just one book to review critically or will there be a bunch of books to discuss? Do you want to read mysteries and thrillers? Self-help and graphic novels are usually good topics to avoid. Talk with one or two people you think might be interested and see what you have in common regarding books. Then set a direction for the type of books you might introduce. Some clubs start a list of books for the entire year. Some groups leave it up to the host and rotate recommendations and others cast a vote among the group.

      2) Determine the logistics. Location, food, and beverages need to be discussed before you send out the invitations to others. These are basically the “rules of engagement” and need to be clear at the outset, so no one gets upset. Where is it going to be each week, how long will you meet, what will be the presentation routine?

      3) Keep an open invitation. It will appear in the beginning that you want to limit your invitation to your core group. But realistically, turnover is high in bookclubs. And if you are trying to get paying members you are going to need a large group from which to attract members.

      4) Determine your style. What will be the format of your meetings? Do you encourage people to speak up during a presentation by a member or save the questions until the end? Who will determine the discussion questions, the presenter, each member, or is it up in the air? These types of questions can save a lot of annoyance in the beginning. Then as time goes on, you can agree to adapt according to what the group likes best. Talk about the structure at your first meeting.

      5) Moderate the moderators. First, how will the moderator be chosen each week? Will it always be the person who is hosting the session? Second, will the moderator ask discussion questions or open it up to the group? Again these are things that can be addressed early on, especially if you prefer structure over chaos.

      6) How you can attract new members
      • Advertise in the local paper
      • Post a notice at local libraries, churches, and bookstores

      7) Sponsorship. Maybe you’d like a local bookstore to host it. Or even a local restaurant that has a party room. These are ways to generate fees as well.

      8) Determine a schedule. When will the club meet and what will happen during holidays?

      As you can see, there are many things to think about. Again profitability is not really a primary concern for most book clubs. Is it more about enjoying reading and getting to meet new people.
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