A nice way to keep your published book in circulation is through book clubs. I was fortunate to be invited recently to a local book club who read Guardian Cats for their book-of-the-month. It was a fun, informal way to meet some of my readers first hand and it inspired me to create a book discussion guide for Guardian Cats.
Five reasons to create a discussion guide for your book.
- Discovering you have a discussion guide might be the impetus for someone choosing your book over the hundreds of others. Best sellers almost always have guides. Why not your book?
- Make your questions intriguing. Giving your potential reader more insight into your book might be the clincher for the first sale. If it’s chosen as a book-of-the-month, all the book club members will need their own book.
- Don’t wait to be invited to a book club to prepare a guide. Make it available on your blog and website for the zillions of readers who don’t live in your hometown.
- Promote your guide however you promote your book, as an special feature.
- Discussion guides can help get the ball rolling at a book club, as well as keep it focused. I’ve a hunch that the social and food aspect of book clubs can overtake the bookish part, so a sheet of paper with discussion questions can help bring folks back on topic.
Here’s some questions to help spark your own guide. I kept putting off doing this myself, but once I knuckled down to it, it didn’t take that long.
- Did the book cover make you want to investigate further?
- Is there something unique about the setting of your book? Ask your readers if it enhances the story?
- Do you have specific themes you emphasize? Ask readers if they were aware of these themes.
- What voice did you use to tell your story? Suggest a question like, how would the story be different if told through another character’s POV?
- Were the characters believable? Were they memorable? Could you relate to their situation?
- Did you think the names of the characters fit their personality?
- How did the main character evolve throughout the course of the story? In what ways do the events in the books reveal evidence of the author’s world view?
- Does this book fit into a genre you usually read? Does it ‘break the mold’ of (this genre’s) books in any way?
- Did you enjoy the book? Would you recommend it to others? What kind of readers would the book appeal to? (Age group, Genre, Subject matter)
- What kept you reading? Or made you stop?
Avoid generalized questions like “What did you think of the book?” or questions that have yes or no answers. You want to ask questions that are open ended and help people talk about themes and how the book relates to deeper issues.
Be sure your title, author name and an image of your book cover appear at the top and add all of the places your book is available to purchase.
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