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January 5, 2015

How to Start a Book-Themed Newsletter


What do you do when you want something that doesn't exist? Invent it, of course! This was Teen Board member Aspen R.'s thinking when she noticed that her school didn't have any book-themed newsletters, and decided to start her own. Below, Aspen tells us about the process and how it's worked out so far. Maybe her post will inspire you to start a newsletter at your school!

I knew I had a love of literacy from an early age, and I wanted to help promote it, especially in school. I noticed that there were a lot of newsletters that were distributed around my school, but none of them touched on books. They had write-ups for the clubs, but the book clubs in my school were almost always left out --- they were kind of an afterthought. I really wanted to fix that problem; how can anyone learn about the clubs, or the new releases, or anything about the books, if there isn’t something about them?

Last year, I told the sponsors of three of the book clubs I was in about my idea, and they immediately jumped on board. I pretty much had free reign as to what went in the newsletter, and decided that other book club members (called Book Ambassadors) could write reviews on recent books they read. I also wanted it to be a fun newsletter, one that would catch people’s attention and then keep it, so I added some polls and made the tone upbeat and exciting. The first issue went off with a bang, and it hasn’t really slowed down since.

The best part of having this newsletter is giving people recommendations that they may not have heard about, and telling them some of the recent releases that they may not have read yet. I also wanted to make sure that the clubs were highlighted. The newsletter has even brought other students to our meetings --- some have just checked it out and some have stayed.

All in all, when I look at the success that it has had, I know that I have spread the word about reading a little bit more, both to those who already were readers and didn’t know about the book clubs offered and to those who weren’t readers but are trying some of our recommendations. Knowing that I helped spread the word about books that are purely awesome, or helped give someone a recommendation that may have changed how they thought about reading, is the best of feelings.

Aspen R. is a Teen Board member.