I am honoured to be chatting to the amazing Tracy Fenton, who started a secret book club on Facebook some years ago, which now is the biggest thing to hit social media!
Who knew a secret could become the most popular phenomenon in the world of authors and readers alike?
Thank you so much Tracy for being my guest and for sharing with us your journey in creating THE Book Club. It’s an absolute treat to have you as my guest today!
You currently manage and own the largest Secret Book Club on Facebook. How did the journey begin to start THE Book Club – TBC?
I was a very active member of several online book clubs and was always recommending books and compiling lists and getting busy, but some of the larger groups weren’t being monitored enough and therefore lots of spammers and trolls were posting and causing lots of unpleasantness. In October 2014 I decided that I should set up a small secret group of 20-40 avid readers, word spread overnight and 20 became 450 and now we have 8400 members. Not the best kept secret now!
What has been your most memorable moment to date, in running TBC?
So many to mention, the charity book auctions I run – raising £11k for Cancer Research in 2015, raised £12k for The National Autistic Society and £2,500 for Secondary First Cancer last year. Being mentioned in the acknowledgements of over 50 books and having my name as a cameo character in several books too. Helping authors get publishing deals, getting authors to #1 in the Amazon charts, encouraging people to read out of their comfort zone, seeing online friendships develop into real-life friendships, getting private messages from the members telling me that TBC is their life-line – the list goes on.
You have established TBC as an amazing brand that is recognisable anywhere. What do you think sets TBC Apart from all other groups on Facebook?
The members! They all have the best sense of humour, unbelievable compassion and the biggest hearts when it comes to supporting other members, readers and authors. TBC has become like an international family and the members feel involved and included and more importantly nobody is judged or made to feel unimportant. TBC is a positive group and we really won’t allow any nastiness or bullying.
You have an amazing blog of your own where you review books. Tell us more about your blog, and give us details of where to find it.
Compulsive Readers was created because I decided to take a month off from THE Book Club in December 2016. THE Book Club on Facebook is an incredible group but being a group it’s fast moving and easy to miss posts and recommendations and also I was getting a little bit bored of constantly recommending the same books so I decided to set up a blog that only features my favourite 4 or 5 star books and put them into categories that were easy to find – so if you wanted to see what my favourite Crime books or Books in a Series or Historical Fiction books were it’s easy to navigate around. Also, I have a special feature where I interview some brilliant authors including Peter James, Chris Carter, Cath Staincliffe and over 100 other authors. There’s the Mean Reviews section where several authors read out their worst 1 star book review to camera, my Top Ten’s including my favourite psychological thrillers, the best books of the year and even the 10 fictional characters I would like to slap really hard with a brick! There’s loads going on every day from my reviews to competitions. Check it out on www.compulsivereaders.com
You are known for your passion and commitment to supporting Authors and have even managed to rid Amazon of Author imposters who were trying to deceive readers into thinking they are well known Authors. What makes you so passionate about supporting both Indie and Traditionally Published Authors?
I just love books and sharing my recommendations. The feeling when you read a book that turns your world upside down or makes you cry or gasp out loud and then recommending it to someone and they feel the same is magical.
Is there a chance you will write your own book anytime soon?
What are your Top 5 Books and Authors of all time?
As my Top 5 books are different to my Top 5 Authors I am going to cheat and give you 10:
Top 5 books – Into The Darkest Corner – Elizabeth Haynes, The Lost Wife – Alyson Richman, Perfect People – Peter James, Shtum – Jem Lester and The Language of Flowers – Vanessa Diffenbaugh.
Top 5 authors – John Marrs, Tammy Cohen, Craig Lancaster, Chris Whitaker and Chris Carter.
What’s next for you and TBC?
For TBC I’ve chosen this year’s official charity to sponsor The National Literacy Trust and therefore I will be busy co-ordinating the month-long auction in May and hopefully raising lots of money. I don’t have any plans for me except to keep reading and recommending and encouraging more people to read books.
If you could choose any location in the world to sit and read and chat books, where would that be?
Anywhere hot with a beach and cocktails.
About Tracy Fenton
Tracy is a self confessed bookaholic with over 450 books on her kindle and over 200 books on her bookshelf. She is also the founder of an international book club – THE Book Club (TBC) and she has one of the coolest book blogs around, called Compulsive Readers. She has been instrumental in assisting many Authors establish their careers, and she has connected many reading fans with their favourite Authors.
If you would like to connect with Tracy on Social media, you can:
Find her on Twitter here
Connect on Instagram here
Read her blog here
How to join THE Book Club (TBC)
If you want to join the group you need to send Charlie Fenton a friend request – and he’ll sort out the rest. He is the only person who can let you in!
Charlie Fenton – CEO of TBC
or find their facebook page and send them a message.
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