Why book clubs matter (and make you a better writer)

I miss my book club. It's been three months, which is to say "three books ago," since I attended a meeting and I am excited to get back to reading and reviewing new books. Summer was a bit of a whirlwind with all the backyard BBQs, vacation time, and general laziness, but now that September is almost here, it's time to get back on track. 

If you have a chance to join a book club, I highly encourage you to do so. I get so much more out of mine than I ever thought I would, including new friends and new perspectives on writing.


After a bit of trial and error with different clubs, I ended up joining an IndigoReads book club run by my local Chapters store in Ottawa. We meet the first Thursday of the month and generally read newly released books by major publishers. For me, as an indie author, I get so much value out of reading these books because I am constantly analyzing what makes a bestseller, and I know that the only way for me to be a better writer and publisher is to stay current with market trends.

As I said, there are many reasons to join a book club, especially if you are an aspiring writer. If you join your own local club, you can probably expect the following to happen: 

  • make new friends with book clubbers and bookstore staff
  • make time to read each day to finish your book on time (reading = happy)
  • expand your mind by reading books in genres you wouldn't normally read
  • expand your book library
  • learn new writing techniques
  • learn new ways to market and promote books, such as cover designs and book club kits
  • have lively debates about characters and story endings
  • be inspired to write more
  • be proud at the end of the year when you realize how many books you've read
  • laugh, smile, and have fun 

Happy reading!

Stacey D. Atkinson is a freelance editor and author of Stuck, a novel she published via her independent company Mirror Image Publishing.  

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