April 16, 2024

Bangor Daily News
Maine news, sports, politics, election results, and obituaries
A Camden book club business has raised more than $1 million to add features to its website amid a boom in readers wanting to interact with each other during the pandemic.
Bookclubs co-founder Anne Ford said some 13 million Americans are in a book club. Her business helps readers find other people with similar interests and guides them on how to form a club either virtually or in person and how to keep the club going.
The two-year-old company gets revenue from book publishers and authors, whose books it promotes and recommends along with discussion guides. It also partners with booksellers and authors to sell books on its website.
Ford said the company wants to raise another $1 million. All of the money will be used for technical product development, new features and marketing. The website currently serves about 350,000 readers, mostly in the U.S. but some elsewhere in the world.
Ford started the business as a personal project to organize her own book club, but she discovered a lot of interest in the club and grew it into a business.
Readers also join book clubs through libraries, book stores and social media postings, but Ford said her website adds features to stimulate discussions and streamline organizing meetings for members.
The company has six full-time employees, plus consultants and part-time employees, all of whom work remotely.
“We did see a really big boost, certainly in the early months of the pandemic, but it has continued today,” she said. “Many people were looking for creative ways to connect virtually.”

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