This isn't really what I would consider a guide. It's more of a recommendation. :-)
I am writing this because of our experiences with our oldest son. He has always lacked motivation and rewards and punishments do not work with him. He had no interests and we have been unsuccessful in getting him to complete chores, schoolwork, etc., until recently.
Last summer, I decided to take my children to the local library. We made a whole day of it. I first took them to a bookstore to let them see all the wonderful brand new books available there. We then had lunch at a restaurant and I told them about all the fantastic books I'd read as a child and how much I used to love going to the library. I then told the older two that we would use a mini-reward chart w/spaces for 20 stickers. Each book that was on their reading level and a designated number of pages would be worth one sticker, longer books would be worth 2 stickers. Any book that was below their reading level would be half a sticker, etc. When they filled the chart, they could pick out their own book at the bookstore to keep as their reward. They seemed to love this idea. :-)
Once we got there, the children looked around as I filled out the forms for their cards. I then took each one to their section and helped them pick out books. The toddlers first. They were the easiest. Then my older two. One was about to enter 2nd grade and the other was going to be a 3rd grader. My 2nd grader is an enthusiastic reader, so he didn't require any assistance selecting his first books. Each of them picked out 3 books, which was the maximum allowed by the library for a first visit. My oldest on the other hand just looked lost.
I made a few suggestions and let him look the books over in his own time. To my delight, he took one of my suggestions and decided to try a Goosebumps book. It was book #27, A Night in Terror Tower.
Three of the kids couldn't even wait until we got home before reading/looking over their books. They got started in the van. :-) My oldest on the other hand, just put his one book in his room and never even opened it the first day. The next night, in order to try and elicit some interest, I suggested that he read a chapter out loud, then I'd read a chapter and we'd alternate in that fashion for about an hour. I told him that after 1 hour, if he did not like it, he could return it to the library and try another author. He agreed. Be the time he'd finished reading the first chapter and I'd read the second, he was hooked! We only took one 15 minute break and read the book cover to cover. Afterwards, he excitedly asked when we could go back to the library to pick out another!
Since then, though it's only been a few short months, he's earned himself 6 books for his personal bookcase and become an avid reader. He's still reading the Goosebumps books, but also the Hardy Boys and Boxcar Children books. Where all other rewards and punishments (even grounding!) have failed, books have prevailed. He has one reward chart for his outside of school reading and one for chores. We can now motivate him to do his chores since he knows he will be rewarded w/books when he fills his chart. All I have to say is THANK GOD FOR R.L. STINE and his Goosebumps books! :-)