Book Discussion Guides

I’ve noticed that there are more books available in the last couple of years that include a discussion guide at the back of the book. If you’ve published fiction or nonfiction and don’t have a list of questions at the back, then you haven’t missed the boat.

I suggest that you develop a group of discussion questions that are available to readers. Book clubs or discussion groups can have access to the guides and download them for free. Post the documents on your website, put a link on your blog, or make them available on Goodreads.

Did you know that you can have an author page on Goodreads? It’s a great place to let readers know about your books and Discussion Guides.

Let people in your network know that the guides are available. Tweet about them. Talk about them on Facebook and in your online groups.

Examples can be found at Discussion Guides. These are my own new guides. Give it a try. You’re giving added value to your readers and making your books more appealing to Book Clubs and Discussion groups.

Tips on Starting a Book Club

Tuesday’s post talked about book clubs a bit and I made a suggestion. If you’re not a part of a book club and want to be in one, then ask around, look in your community newspaper for announcements or at your public library. The alternative to that is start your own with some friends and neighbors.

You’ll need to make some decisions on how large you want your group to get. You may want to limit it to a certain number like 6 – 10. Sometimes a larger group can be harder to manage with busy schedules.

Find a place for your meetings. Most libraries have a room you can use for a minimal refundable deposit. They love having groups meet and read. Your group may want to take turns meeting at each others homes. Dinner and a discussion in a restaurant that provides a private room may be your choice. Coffee shops are everywhere and can be a great place. Many book stores have a coffee shop in the store or near by.

Decide what types of books you want to read – fiction, nonfiction, genre. Vote as a group to decide. You could read a combination of different types of books and then compare them.

Set your meeting day and time. How often do you want to meet? How long is your time together?

Set the amount of time to read the book – 4 weeks, 6 weeks – be specific on what date member need to complete reading the book . That way no one gets confused.

Decide on a book to read together with suggestions from the group or a reading list that you all agree on.

Discussions should be focused on the book, it’s subject, the author, elements of the story, social issues, etc. If one person disagrees with another about the book or some point of view, then it should not become personal. It is an objective discussion about what the author wrote. You may not always like the book as much as others, but there is always something to be gained by reading and discussing the book afterwards.

Most of all enjoy yourselves. Your book club doesn’t have to read serious nonfiction that addresses the world and society. You can read humorous books or only one genre. You may want to focus on one author only. I know there are Jane Austin Clubs. It’s all up to you and your friends. Books take us places we may never go otherwise. Enjoy!

Book Clubs

How many of you are in a book club or have participated in one? I’d love to hear about your experiences and how you choose which books to read. Some groups take suggestions from members and then vote. If you read books from Oprah’s Book Club, then you read her choices – many of which are wonderful reads.

Book clubs can be a group of friends, neighbors, or an online group like at Katrina Wampler’s blog. We’re just getting started on the first book of the year, Cedar Woman, byDebra Shiveley Welch.

Lena Cedar Woman Young Bear, a daughter of the Lakota Sioux, opens the first high-end Native American restaurant in Central Ohio.

This is her story.

Born in May Hill, Ohio, Lena Cedar Woman travels to Columbus at age 12 after tragedy befalls her family. Here, in the capital city, a chance encounter leads her to her destiny.

Walk with her as she changes the lives and fortunes of those she loves.      

Follow her to powwow where she meets her half-side.

Rejoice with her at the grand opening of her restaurant.

Cedar Woman allows the reader to learn the ways, and some of the language of The People, while also offering romance and discovery.

This might be the book you and your friends want to read next.