Please join us in giving a very warm welcome to Angela Maria Hart, the brilliant mind behind the Cozy Mystery Book Club! She puts so much time and energy into celebrating the cozy mystery genre, for which authors and readers alike are incredibly grateful. Read on for all the details…
Welcome to The Cozy Mystery Book Club
Hello Fellow Mystery Lovers! I am honored to be a guest blogger and share my love of cozy mysteries with everyone.
Back in 2016, I had an idea. Then, the idea grew and the first Cozy Mystery Book Club livestream was held in 2017, making it the very first cozy mystery book club for YouTube. Today, The Cozy Mystery Book Club is going strong and sleuthers join the cozy fun all month long. That original idea has grown beyond anything I could have anticipated.
The last Tuesday of the month, every month, is our official discussion of our latest Cozy Mystery Book Club read. Myself and a guest host chat with fellow book club members live over on my YouTube channel, Books Are My Hart, at 7:00 PM EST. I try to share the YouTube link across platforms and remind interested readers when our monthly chat will occur. I always recommend that sleuthers find a way to save the information in whatever way is most beneficial to them whether that is adding the link to their bookmarks, saving the link to their desktop, adding the upcoming livestream to their YouTube watchlist, hitting the YouTube bell, and or adding it to their digital calendars.
If a book club member can’t make the livestream, the event is always archived and accessible after the air date. Sleuthers can go back and watch the livestream at their leisure. Plus, once the livestream is archived, I go through the comments and convert them to individual giveaway entries. One winner is selected at random to receive that month’s giveaway prize. Each livestream culminates with a giveaway, which I believe is a fun way of thanking readers for joining us. I encourage authors to reach out to me if they would like to take part in a future book club giveaway. Even if the giveaways are all planned out for livestreams, I am always open to organizing a Twitter or Instagram giveaway.
During the livestream, book club members comment with their cozy thoughts. Sleuthers message back and forth to each other, respond to the questions myself and my guest host pose, and lots more. I always enjoy going back through the comments and seeing the participation. When it comes to cozy mysteries, there is always a lot to discuss.
At some point, I would love to have all of the previous YouTube livestreams transcribed and accessible as PDF downloads on the book club website. That is a long-term dream and goal of mine. Plus, I have started working on making the livestreams accessible as audio files. This way, if something were to ever happen to YouTube, there is another outlet for cozy content. I want book club members to enjoy the content and access it in whatever way is best for them. This can be a lot of work, but it is worth it!
I used to have readers select books each month. Now, we plan four cozy mystery reads ahead. This new schedule has been working out really well for everyone. By December, it will be time to vote for the next batch of four cozy reads. I love that the book club members submit titles they themselves loved or want to read with everyone. I think this unites the readers and helps ensure that we have a great book each month. First, I ask for cozy requests and recommendations across platforms. Then, I gather all of the titles and look into them to ensure the books are available in different formats (paperback, electronic, and audio) and can be found via multiple outlets. Once I establish this, I group the titles into batches of four by trope, theme, and holidays. Then the cozy mysteries are back in the hands of readers; sleuthers vote for our upcoming book club titles on Twitter.
I truly believe that Twitter is the best platform for having readers vote. Unlike Instagram, Twitter is completely anonymous. Even though I personally won’t judge someone for their votes or make note of it in any way, I’m sure some readers wouldn’t want their votes divulged. Instagram shows the account owner who voted for what. Also, Twitter lets polls stay available for a full seven days, while Instagram polls are only live in the stories for twenty-four hours. I’ve looked into other methods of polling, but Twitter truly appears to be the best one. Considering we usually have at least one hundred readers vote, I think book club members find it works for them too.
The Cozy Mystery Book Club has branched out to hold additional events. The second Tuesday of the month has become #CozyCornerChat night. Cozy mystery readers can connect with their favorite and soon to be favorite creators on Twitter. At 7:00 PM EST, the featured authors will be on their computers and or phones, ready to answer everyone’s reading and writing questions. All participants have to do is write out their question and use the hashtag, #CozyCornerChat, at the end of their tweet to ensure that the authors will read and answer their tweet. It has been wonderful to see the connections sleuthers have made with one another on Twitter. Authors have been able to offer advice on writing cozy mysteries, recommend their favorite cozy mystery reads to book club members inspiring even longer to be read lists, and connect with new readers who haven’t had the chance to look into their work yet.
During our last book club livestream, there was such a positive response to the Library Lover’s Mystery Series by Jenn McKinlay, I have organized a monthly buddy read that will take us into summer 2022. The idea is that interested sleuthers read the designated book by the third Tuesday of the month so that they can discuss all of the coziness. Readers can post throughout the month using the tags #SleuthingTuesdays and #SherlockHamsters. #SleuthingTuesdays will refer to all buddy reads, while #SherlockHamsters is dedicated just to The Cozy Mystery Book Club’s buddy read of the Library Lover’s Mystery Series. I even asked one of my favorite graphic designers to create a special sleuthing friend I can use when posting updates. Now, Sherlock Hamster can join MoriarTEA, our book club logo, and Purrlock Holmes, the book club mascot.
This will be the third year for 12 Days of Cozies, the Cozy Christmas Extravaganza, that runs December 1st to December 12th. Sleuthers can participate in the coziness across platforms; daily Instagram photo challenges, nightly Twitter reading sprints, morning email newsletters, guest blogs on the official website, and lots more. I am not exaggerating when I write that I started planning this year’s event in January. Those morning newsletters will have original adult coloring book pages, mazes, wordsearches, Instagram story templates, Instagram story challenges, bingo boards, and a variety of other content. It has taken me a lot of time to create these items and I can’t wait to finally reveal what I have been working on. I hope they brighten someone’s day and brings a smile to someone’s face. If a cozy mystery author is interested in taking part in 12 Days of Cozies by writing a guest blog post, taking part in one of the nightly author chats on Twitter, offering a giveaway (for the newsletter, Instagram, and or Twitter), or holding an IGTV live chat, they are welcome to join the event in whatever way they can. One of my favorite things about the events I organize is when a sleuther messages me weeks later saying that they read a new author’s work and loved it because I introduced them. Those responses always give me the warm fuzzy feelings. It is my absolute honor to shine the sleuthing spotlight on cozy mystery writers and share their work with interested readers. I hope I am able to continue to do so and help more cozies to be read.
If you are interested in joining The Cozy Mystery Book Club, simply read our book of the month and discuss it with us in whatever way you can. Our September book club read is Class Reunions Are Murder by Libby Klein. The YouTube link is already live, so you can add a reminder in whatever way works best for you. Our remaining 2021 book club reads include One Poison Pie by Lynn Cahoon, Death of a Kitchen Diva by Lee Hollis, and In Peppermint Peril by Joy Avon. If you would like to take part in our future chats, please be sure to add these titles to your to be read list and future book hauls.
Thank you for reading my guest post. I was so honored when Cynthia Kuhn asked me to submit something. I wanted to give her a special thanks for including myself and The Cozy Mystery Book Club. If you would like any additional information, please don’t hesitate to message me.
Happy Reading & Sleuthing!
Originally from Massachusetts, Angela Maria Hart currently resides in Washington, D.C. After earning her master’s degree at Georgetown University, Angela stayed in D.C. for her PhD. Currently, she is writing her dissertation on the romance genre fandom in the digital age.
When not analyzing romance, she is celebrating cozy mysteries. To share her passion with likeminded sleuthers, Angela created YouTube’s first Cozy Mystery Book Club. You can find her discussing her latest reads across platforms, Twitter, Instagram, and or YouTube.
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~ ~ THE COZY MYSTERY BOOK CLUB ~ ~
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12 Days of Cozies runs December 1st to December 12th. Join us for daily Twitter and Instagram giveaways, nightly reading sprints from 5:00 to 8:00 PM EST, author chats from 8:00 to 9:00 PM EST, author blogs, Instagram challenges, and lots more!
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