It’s one thing to read a good book. It’s another thing to discuss it with other like-minded readers, and what better way to do that than with a book club? Now you can do it easily with the all-new Amazon Book Clubs.
Amazon Book Clubs currently offers clubs covering a wide variety of book genres. Plus, it’s currently in Early Access and will likely offer even more genres and features once it’s officially released. Book clubs are also a great way to find similar recommendations for the book you love, so this feature is a really fun addition to the book world. You can dive in and start enjoying one of these clubs now; Amazon also takes user feedback for clubs into account, to improve them before the official release.
What are Amazon Book Clubs?
Amazon started out as a digital bookstore, so it makes sense that the shopping titan would eventually create some sort of digital book club feature. And Amazon Book Clubs is just that: book clubs gone digital. Now you can easily join discussions about a particular book with other avid readers around the world. Plus, membership is free!
Once you’ve found a club you like, click the “Join this book club” button on the club page. From there, it’s up to you to buy the book (if you don’t already own it. Fortunately, Amazon sells books, as do many other online bookstores.
Everything in these clubs is digital and text-based, and each club’s page hosts a discussion forum where you can create new posts and respond to posts from other users whenever you want. You can also like or report posts, just like you can on other social media sites, and click on other users’ profiles to see their posting history. Amazon hasn’t clarified (yet) whether conversations are archived as each book is completed, or whether each club will end up with an eternity-long forum full of mixed discussions for each book the group decides to read ; so far it seems to be one eternal forum.
Clubs focus on genres like sci-fi and fantasy, business and growth, romantic comedies, interactive fiction and gamebooks, memorable memoirs, mysteries and thrillers, and many more . Plus, you can join multiple clubs if you’re interested (and have some free time for all that reading)! However, it’s only once you sign up that you can see when the last post was posted; if the group is inactive, you will need to manually leave the club.
Clubs also allow you to coordinate all of your upcoming readings, receive notifications about new posts (or when someone replies to your post), and make new friends with similar interests. Once you join a club, you can suggest a book for the club to read. You can also easily view and manage the book clubs you’ve joined at the top of the book club homepage.
Who can join Amazon book clubs?
Amazon Book Clubs is totally free, but you must have an Amazon.com account to do so; you don’t need to be signed up for a Prime account, just a standard Amazon account. Once your account is created, however, you can easily browse available book clubs and get the ball rolling for all your favorite genres!
Anyone can join one or more of these clubs, but Amazon currently (randomly) limits who can create a new club during the feature’s early access period. The company says it will be rolling out more features over the next few months, and club building will eventually be available to all customers once early access ends.
Keep in mind, though, that while most clubs are public (and can be joined by anyone with an Amazon account), some are private. For these, you’ll need to seek permission from a group admin, and there’s no guarantee they’ll let you in. If you are approved, however, you will receive a notification email letting you know that your membership is confirmed.
Whether a club is public or private, anyone can see the list of group members, club name, description, photo, location, tags, and member count. People can also receive an invitation directly from a club administrator, instead of having to submit a request; anyone with an invite link can also view that group’s admins as well as past, current, and future books. Private clubs also have the ability to disable and enable membership requests; clubs will send out private invites, typically, and these admins can toggle the privacy settings as needed.
Remember that Amazon Book Clubs is still in early access. That means you might run into a bug or two if you choose to use it before it’s officially released. Alternatively, after this early access period, Amazon may decide that the whole thing isn’t worth it and just shut it down.
If he’s live to see an official release, however, the final product might look a little different, have new features and tweaked settings, and even offer extra clubs and options for your enjoyment.