Monday, February 08, 2010

What Do You Talk About On Your Blog If You Write Fiction?


It's harder to promote fiction on a blog (or about anything else) than nonfiction, but it's not impossible. Here are some ideas. Note that sometimes you have to make your own news.

1. Review others' books and post the review. Choose ones in the same genre as yours or related to your book in other ways, like setting. Ask the author to promote your review post. If you need more information on this process, read the section on how to promote with your writing in The Frugal Book Promoter and for everything you need to know on the subject read Mayra Calvani's The Slippery Art of Book Reviewing.

2. Use the voice of your protagonist (or villain) in your post and let him or her tell some new stories, stories not found in your book. Be sure she or he mentions your book during the little story-telling spree.

3. Let your readers endorse your book. Ask them to. Post pictures of them and your book cover and talk about more than the book, make it about them. It could be a feature story of some interesting aspect of their lives or an interview. But interviews are common and if you wrote a feature story, you might end up selling the article to a print periodical or some other media.

4. Talk about trends in your genre. How does your book fit into them?

5. Answer reader's questions. Sometimes readers think of characters as real. Offer to expound or flesh out characters, including minor ones. You may end up using what you write as part of a sequel.

6. It seems obvious from the above but you could explore your next novel and let people weigh in with ideas.

7. Feature or link to the blogs of other authors or other review sites. Ask for reviews of your book on those same review sites.

8. Start an award. Contests are old news and often don't work well. But if you give an award once a year for a book in your genre? Well, I'm just starting to think of the possible benefits inherent with this including an opportunity to send out a media release with some real news in it, cross promotion with the winning author or authors.... Do you have other ideas for how awards could work? Leave them in the comments. Subscribers would love to hear them.

Oh! A resource for you. Go to Phyllis Zimbler Miller's and my Fiction Marketing page to read the chapter on blogs. There are even more ideas there.It is at www.fictionmarketing.com. And if you know an agent who might be interested in the concept, will you let them know about the site?

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Carolyn Howard-Johnson, author of This Is the Place; Harkening: A Collection of Stories Remembered; Tracings, a chapbook of poetry; and two how to books for writers, The Frugal Book Promoter: How To Do What Your Publisher Won't and The Frugal Editor: Put Your Best Book Forward to Avoid Humiliation and Ensure Success. Her FRUGAL book for retailers is A Retailer’s Guide to Frugal In-Store Promotions: How To Increase Profits and Spit in the Eyes of Economic Downturns with Thrifty Events and Sales Techniques. She is also the author of the Amazon Short, "The Great First Impression Book Proposal". Some of her other blogs are TheNewBookReview.blogspot.com, a blog where authors can recycle their favorite reviews. She also blogs at all things editing, grammar, formatting and more at The Frugal, Smart and Tuned-In Editor blog.

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