Online Reading Groups for Teens

Some of the big-name publishers have created online book communities for teens in order to instill a love of reading. Simon & Schuster’s PulseIt is only available to those between the ages of 14 and 18, which creates a safe environment for teens to read YA books for free online, discuss them, and spot trends. There are also sweepstakes and contests each month.

Hachette’s Pick a Poppy is a similar site aimed at teens. It allows readers to comment on and discuss popular book series like Gossip Girl, The Clique, and Monster High. As far as I know, you don’t have to be a teen to join Pick a Poppy.

There are other sites similar to these two: InkPop, Pottermore, and Buzzers.

I really like the idea of creating sites for teens to discuss books, but the question is… will these sites attract new or reluctant readers? They’re catering to teens who already love reading and that’s great, but if they could successfully include those who’ve never had an interest in reading or YA literature before, that would be even better.

4 thoughts on “Online Reading Groups for Teens

  1. I agree with your last paragraph . . . these efforts are more like to corral those teens who already love to read UNLESS they persuade less book oriented friends to join.

    I know in HS that I would have joined up, but most of my “real life” friends would not have been interested.

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    • Same here. I would definitely have joined in high school and perhaps encouraged some of my friends… but it definitely seems to be for those who already have the inclination to read.

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  2. I must concur with you both. The concept is fantastic but a lot of the time we end up just getting already reading teens rather than fresh blood >_>

    One thing I learned from a blog post someone else wrote is to try and market towards people who have an interest in your subject but don’t really read. Try to hook them in with something that appeals to them. I once convinced a guy friend to read Twilight by describing the cars and how sweet they are. He has not forgiven me.

    Point is the groups need a topic people are more likely to want to read. Historical fiction for History channel nuts. Horse people love horse books. Growing up I loved Sweet Valley Twins and Boxcar Kids and Baby-sitters club. It grew from there.

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    • Hooking them in with something appealing sounds like it would work. Good suggestion! It reminds me of those books based on video games – they can sometimes get video gamers (who usually don’t read) to start reading.

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