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Virtual author events offer reader interaction, learning opportunities for Baker Book House

Grand Rapids, MI—Virtual author events, a thriving new occurrence at Baker Book House due to restrictions caused by Covid-19, have been learning opportunities for the largest independent Christian bookstore in North America. The store has hosted several talks with novelists that have drawn good numbers to the live events and large numbers of viewers in the days following.

Novelists Charles Martin, author of The Water Keeper, and Susie Finkbeiner, author of Stories that Bind Us, were interviewed by fiction buyer Chris Jager for the events on May 19 and May 28. The store will feature novelist Lynn Austin (If I Were You) on June 4.

“We had about 50 people participate in Susie Finkbeiner’s live event, and more than 700 views of the Facebook Live video less than 24 hours later,” said Becca Niswonger, marketing manager for the Grand Rapids, Michigan-based store.

“We are on a learning curve for what virtual events look like, and with each event we learn more,” she said. “We’re using our laptops because we don’t have access to fancy equipment, but we’re seeing what we can make happen on a smaller technology scale.”

Baker Book House uses the Zoom webinar function, which allows viewers to ask questions and chat with other participants, as well as cast the event to Facebook Live. Zoom events last about an hour, with thirty minutes of interview conversation followed by about 30 minutes of live interaction.

“The possibilities are definitely there as we watch to see how people interact and enjoy the virtual events,” said Niswonger. “Our goal has always been to build community; we’re finding new ways to facilitate that. And we have no shortage of authors waiting to have events.”

For more information, visit or visit the Baker Book House Facebook page. 

About Baker Book House:  Baker Book House was founded in 1939, when Herman Baker started the store with 500 books from his personal library. Baker is known world-wide for a deep selection of Christian titles, including new, used, and bargain books. Visit for more information.

Contact: Becca Niswonger, Marketing Manager, 616-957-3110,

Photo: “Behind the scenes look into virtual event with Author Susie Finkbeiner at Baker Book House”
Photo Credit: Kristina Ettema