Convenor Tips



Are you new to the role of convenor of your book group? Or maybe you've been at it for a while, but are interested in ways to better manage your book group. At BDS we aim to make book club easy and fun, so here are a few tips and tricks based on some of the most frequently asked questions we receive from our club convenors. 

We'll add to this list regularly, but if you can't find what you're looking for, please email or give us a call on 03 365 6210 — we're happy to help!


Generic Book Notes for New Titles

One of the things that sets a BDS book group apart are the customised discussion questions (aka book notes) we provide with all our book sets. However, in order to get recently released titles out to book groups as soon as possible, we give your club the option of using generic book notes for our newest titles before their customised versions are ready. You need to let us know that you're OK with receiving generic notes by either:

logging in and ticking the generic book notes box in your Group Details:


or emailing us with your group number

If you'd rather wait to received customised notes in all cases, please be aware of this when adding books to your book list. If you choose a new title and you haven't told us you're OK with generic notes, we'll assume you want to wait until they are ready and may send you other books from further down your list.

When choosing books from the catalogue online, a pop-up will alert you that you've chosen a new title that comes with generic notes.



Looking for New Members

When you enrol with us for the first time, we ask for a description of your group and whether or not you're open to finding more members. This information is displayed on our website in the form of an online map so that people looking for groups to join can message you directly. 

Please respond to these messages, even if you are full or don't think the person would be a good fit. It can be incredibly disheartening for those looking to send out enquiries and receive no reply. 

You have complete control over turning your listing off/on and keeping your description up-to-date. Log in and go to your Group Profile to manage this.



Returning Books

While postage anywhere in NZ is included in your membership, we leave return postage up to you. However, don't get caught out paying exhorbitant prices for a heavy parcel! We sell subsidised track n trace courier bags with no weight limit in the Order Products section of our website (visible once you've logged in). These are the simplest, cheapest and safest way to return your books to us.



Pack books spine-inward and wrap in plain paper (not newspaper — it stains the books!) In almost all cases this will create a tidy parcel that should slip easily into a lineflow size courier bag.

If you struggle to fit all the books in one bag, you can purchase a five-pack of smaller foolscap or A4 bags that are perfect for overflow and still very cost effective.

See here for more instructions on how to arrange a pick up for your parcel and more.


Keeping Track of Members' Books

The consignment note is the little slip of paper you receive with each book set — don't discard it right away! Each book has a unique barcode listed on the consignment note. Before handing the books out to your members, write their name next to the corresponding bar code. This ensures each individual member is responsible for the proper care and return of their book, and could save you a lot of time and hassle should a book go missing or be damaged.

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The Book Discussion 
Scheme is a member of the Federation of Workers Educational Associations in Aotearoa New Zealand
BDS is a member of the Federation of Workers Educational Associations