Thanks to Carol Higgins Clark for joining our discussion. Although the author has concluded her time with us for now, please feel free to continue your conversation about Santa Cruise through the end of the month -- and be sure to check out our discussions coming in January and beyond.
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Easier Navigation, and More, in January

Hey, everyone.

As we move into the new year, the editors here at the Book Clubs have been taking stock of your feedback, and also reviewing the action so far.

We've had some really fascinating and delightful conversations in these early days of the Book Clubs. The discussion of The Thirteenth Tale was dynamic, and the various classics discussions have really taken off.

But what we're seeing in some other spots is that some people are having a hard time getting to the conversations. The large category structure has added layers of navigation that we probably didn't need quite yet. So, as we prepare for the January clubs, we're looking to simplify the structure somewhat, eliminating some of the category pages and making it easier to find the discussion or discussions you're interested in.

Here's what we've got in mind:

Scheduled Discussions

The special author appearances that we're all so fond of are obviously going to continue. We've got a fantastic and diverse lineup already announced for January, and we'll be able to announce the February schedule in just a couple of weeks. We're thrilled that the authors are making time for these exclusive and free discussions, as we know you are, too.

The author discussions will generally begin on the first Monday of the month, but we're going to make accommodations for scheduling conflicts, and holidays, and other things that might stand in the way. We'll continue to post the schedule in advance so you know what's coming, and can get your books (and do your reading) ahead of time.

Lasting Discussions

Here's where you're going to see the biggest change, as we build more permanent homes for the popular fiction and nonfiction genres, and the people who want to discuss them. Expect to see about a dozen genre Book Clubs ranging from Romance to Technology. Each will have its own moderator. Each will take on its own personality. And each will have space for the free-form conversation about favorite books and authors in that area.

But here's the important part … We'll also schedule structured discussions in these boards, every month. From time to time, we'll invite subject-appropriate authors or other experts to join those discussions for a while.

In many ways, these genre-based groups will function like the Book Clubs that meet in your homes or in our stores. Participants will read books together, discuss them, and then move on to the next title. We think this will provide the ease of navigation that we've been looking for while also offering the "focus" that has helped to keep the conversations on track.

Classics Discussions

The always popular classics discussions will span both worlds. We'll be building on the existing Book Clubs with more in-depth and scheduled discussions while continuing the general British and American Classics Book Clubs. A Shakespeare Book Club is on the way, too. Thanks for your great suggestions in the existing boards.

You'll start to see some of these changes in the next few days, as we prepare the January discussions and begin to close down the first set of Book Clubs.

Thanks for being here -- and happy holidays.

Clare Payton, Moderator
Barnes & Noble Book Clubs
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