Every Sunday at 3 pm, 100-odd people meet to discuss books at The Sunday Book Club (TSBC). Topics range from the popularity of Sherlock Holmes to favourites on their bookshelves. There wouldn’t be anything unusual about this, but for the fact that The Sunday Book Club is a Twitter handle
(@TSBookClub) and the
discussions take place with the help of a hashtag.
“It’s no longer a question of whether it can be done. It is happening. There are chats similar to #TSBC that involve people with different interests such as fashion, films, travel and wine,” says Raghav Modi, who founded TSBC with Sudha Ganapathi and Rahul Gupta. “Actually all #TSBC founders live in different cities and have not met in person. Yet, we organise #TSBC successfully,” says Gupta.
Twitter handles are now being used to connect bookworms in the virtual space. From reviews and book release dates, to interviews with authors and contests, you can now connect with people from all over the world who share your love for page-turners.
There is thought to the process. The team at @Book Chums has weekly social media editorial meetings where they brainstorm to shortlist books, authors and trivia based on a theme that can be used to engage followers. “We have a hashtag for each day of the week that gives us a new topic to tweet about ( #interviewmon or #top3tue, for instance). We keep an eye out for trending topics to increase relevancy,” says Pratheesh Nair, senior manager (marketing) at Book Chums.
The latest entrant on the scene is Flip It All, which started last month and offers expert book reviews and author interviews. “Twitter provides hashtags to discuss things on the same topic. We stand out with regular updates, direct interaction and posting content that is useful to book lovers. It is easy to get lost in the crowd, but we believe that this world has a place for everyone,” says Vikas Singhal of Flip It All.