June 26, 2022

Bookbar launches ReadTribe to match readers and book clubs

Nicole Sullivan, owner of BookBar in Denver, Colorado, has started another venture. ReadTribe, a free service for bookstores and individuals, is a website connecting readers to book clubs – as well as book clubs to readers. Book clubs must be affiliated with an independent bookstore to participate in ReadTribe.

Readers can join ReadTribe as individual users and browse listings of book clubs organized by zip code, then narrowed by reading styles, goals, and genre, as well as the bookstore that book club is affiliated with. Conversely, book clubs that are looking for new members or simply want to better manage their groups can create a profile that is set to public or private and either accepts or is closed to new members. Features include member polls, forums, calendar, book club news, bookstore news, and book recommendations.

Participating bookstores can create a profile, which includes a featured book and event each month. Bookstores can update their events, as well as book recommendations that will appear in the sidebar on the individual pages of each of their affiliated book clubs. Book club picks and bookstore recommendations will link to that store’s IndieCommerce page for the customer’s purchase. Bookstores can also highlight any book club amenities, such as meeting space, discounts on select books, or even discounts on food or beverages, if available at that store. ReadTribe will also provide participating bookstores with marketing materials aimed at their customers in book clubs or wishing to join book clubs.

“It will be a way for all of us booksellers to market and sell directly to all those book club customers that we knew we had but didn’t have a great way to reach directly,” Sullivan said, explaining that the project has been in the works since shortly after BookBar, a bookstore that includes a wine bar, opened in 2014. The store has always marketed itself to local book clubs as a meeting place for discuss books in a comfortable environment. Sullivan said ReadTribe’s inspiration came from customer questions she and her staff answered daily regarding the availability of book clubs they could join. “I wanted a solution for this, and I wanted to share it with all my bookstore friends so we could sell more books,” she said, noting that ReadTribe was running at a beta level involving “a handful” of bookstores. since 2018.

Publishers and authors can also participate in this service by placing advertisements on the ReadTribe website. For more details, they can contact [email protected]