You’re a book author and you want to promote your book. You have a website where you have downloads of your first chapter or chapters. Have you also made available discussion questions for book clubs to use?
Book groups can be a good target market for your book, especially if it’s fiction. But given how busy people are, it’s helpful for readers to know that if they suggest a book to their reading group they won’t have to struggle to come up with questions. All the work has already been done for them by the author!
If you haven’t yet provided downloadable questions off your website, do so now.
Here are 6 tips for creating these discussion questions:
- Direct your questions at the appropriate age level for your book. If you’ve written a children’s fiction or non-fiction book, questions should be targeted at the reading level of your book’s market.
- Questions for adult fiction or non-fiction books should include a range of questions so that different levels of book groups can find questions that appeal to their groups.
- For fiction books, are there any current or historic events that impact the story you’ve told? If so, create questions based on these events
- As people often read discussion questions before reading the book, be careful about accidentally revealing a fiction book’s surprise plot points in the questions. With careful consideration, you will usually be able to find a way to discuss a question topic without revealing these plot points.
- Before making available your discussion questions, test them on friends who haven’t read the book yet. Check that the questions mean to others what these questions mean to you.
- Offer the questions to anyone who might be interested besides making the questions available as a free download on your website or other author platforms.
By making available good discussion questions for your book, you’re providing book clubs with the resources for a better discussion. And, with any luck, the better the discussion the more buzz will be created.
For an example of book discussion questions, check out the questions at http://www.mrslieutenant.com
Phyllis Zimbler Miller (@ZimblerMiller on Twitter) is the co-founder of the social media marketing company www.MillerMosaicPowerMarketing.com as well as the author of the novel “Mrs. Lieutenant.”