Cheri Cowell here:
If you've been in this business for some time you've noticed a change in approach to the Study Guide. We've come through the change where everyone simply added a list of questions at the back of their fiction and non-fiction books. With the advent of e-readers and tablets, and more people comfortable with downloading from the internet, there are more options available when considering this great tool for engaging your audience. Here are a few ideas currently rocking the publishing world. Which one best suits your next project?
Downloadable Study Guide: It is still a good idea to add a few study questions for each chapter at the back of your book as a bonus added feature, but consider making this a short version with a note that a "full Study Guide" is available at the author's website. This is a great way to drive traffic to your website. Make it a free PDF that is clickable and downloadable.
E-Book it! You can also make the full Study Guide available on your website as an ebooklet for a couple of dollars. I did this with my current book and sales have been strong.
Podcasts: We are such a visual society, why not record a 5-7 minute discussion starter podcast for each chapter, which can be followed by the questions in your book or by the downloadable questions we discussed earlier.
I-BookClubs: Perhaps one the the hottest rends is the online bookclub where authors can host discussions and this includes "Meet the Author" events. At these events you can share how the book came to be and how to use the study questions in the book or from your website as lauching pads for great discussions on the topics to which your book hints. For instance, Kathy Macias is doing a great job talking about the hot topic of sex trafficking, which is the topic her new fiction book takes up. You can offer a list of resources on your website for those who want to go futher or take action. Perhaps you could offer a tip sheet or action sheet for free for those who sign up for your newsletter, then use the Author Event to promote this free resource.
When it comes to the Study Guide for your next project, I hope these ideas will help you to think a little differently and meet the needs of a new set of readers looking to connect with the author in new ways.
See my Study Guide at www.CheriCowell.com
If you need a quote on creating an ebooklet for your project, contact me through www.Living-Parables.com