Author John Sandford laucnhes interactive book club with his fans on Facebook

Author John Sandford has launched an interactive book club experience for his fans on Facebook. Essentially, the idea is that he’ll pick a book each month, he and everyone will read it, and then people can swap comments and responses via the comment section of the post.

For this month, Sandford has chosen Suspect by Robert Crais to be his first book club selection. Here’s the rest of the details, which you can also see by going to his Facebook page:

Book club, first book choice!

This was tougher to set up than I thought it would be – not the Facebook technical part (Roswell did that) but figuring out what book to choose. The criteria were this: a book that’s probably a good read by a skilled writer; that’s more-or-less in the thriller genre; that’s been out long enough to be in paperback, so it doesn’t cost too much; and the writer’s big enough that the book is in most libraries, for the people who want to go that way.

A number were considered, but we’re going to start with:

“Suspect” by Robert Crais.

“Suspect” came out in 2013, and is available paperback.

Crais’s author page is here:

Now, here’s what I’d like to do. Read the book, but don’t comment yet. I’d like to keep the comments contained.

About a month from now, in early January, I’ll post my own thoughts about the book, and solicit your thoughts. You can make your thoughts longer than the typical Facebook reply and you can comment both on the book and about my thoughts.

Later the same week, after I’ve had a chance to work through your comments, I’ll pick out comments that I thought were particularly perceptive, or that illustrate some aspect of Crais’s work, and I will comment on your comments.

And then, I expect, you’ll comment on those chosen comments, and on my comments on the comments. Everybody get that? There’ll be a lot of commenting.

In that same post, I’ll pick a book that we’ll read the following month, and that we’ll discuss early in February.

On the technical details, Ros has put up a link “button” both on the main Facebook page, and on my main author website, that will link you to the book club Facebook page. We’ll always include some kind of link to the author’s own web page within the article, in case you want to check that out.

A potential problem I see here, and don’t know how to deal with, is that a lot of you are reading freaks, just like I am. What if most of you have already read “Suspect?” Well, comment anyway, but let me know in your comments that you’d already read it. If too many people have, then the next book choice may be deliberately more obscure.

To be honest, I’m really not too interested in looking at books that I’m afraid will be bad. I will be critical where I think I should be, and I expect you to do the same, but I hope without being mean. I want intelligent replies, stuff to make other people think.

So, let’s take a look at “Suspect.”


This seems like a fun experience, and something more authors are doing to interact with their fans. I know that fellow New York Times bestselling novelist, Ted Bell, has a similar book club with his fans over at the Alex Hawke Fans group on Facebook – except that is primarily fan driven and they only read Mr. Bell’s books.

Either way, I must admit that I love seeing more authors getting involved with their fans in a variety of ways. Just another reason the thriller genre is the best group of authors in the business!

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