Readers wait months (and sometimes years) between books from their favorite authors. It’s vital to stay connected with your audience, keep your name on their radar, and build excitement about your next book.It's vital to stay connected with your readers between book releases. Click To Tweet
The best time to start marketing your book is before you begin writing – before you even put pen to paper or fingers to keyboard. If you haven’t yet built an author website, that’s the first step in book marketing. Once your site is set up, it’s time to start blogging about your book.The best time to start marketing your book is before you begin writing. Click To Tweet
Some authors have actually “blogged a book,” where they publish the book’s actual content. I’m not personally a fan of that method, but I do think it’s important to get people interested in your book before the official launch date.
Building Book Buzz for Fiction Writers
If you’re a novelist, there are many things to blog during the pre-pubbed stage of your book. Here are some ideas:
- Share character profiles/backstories. Readers love characters. They root for the underdog characters. Cry over characters who are hurting. Worry about characters who are in danger. Swoon over hunky heroes. Introducing your characters to potential readers can pique their interest in your upcoming book. One author friend of mine blogged some mock interviews with her characters, posing questions and answers as if she were interviewing a real person. That helped boost her pre-orders. Try to be creative when sharing your book’s people with future readers. You can make multiple blog posts from your cast of characters.
- Share excerpts of interviews you conducted with experts during the research stage. This works well for both fiction and nonfiction writers. One of my recent podcast guests (Susan Page Davis) shared her challenge of attempting to get information from an expert who, due to security issues, wasn’t allowed to answer the questions she was asking. It was a fun story, as she found a creative way to discover what she needed to know. That story would make a fun blog post that lets readers know what lengths writers sometimes go to in order to produce books.
- Share about your research trips. While I was working on an historical novel, I retraced much of the California Trail. I didn’t think of it at the time, but daily updates about that trip, along with photos I took, would have made a great pre-publication blog series.
- Share fun facts about your setting. You chose your setting for a reason. Let readers know about some of the history, off-the-beaten-path sites, unique features, landmarks, culture, and/or recipes unique to your setting. Maybe you stopped by and enjoyed some local cuisine during a research trip. Share what makes that place special.
- Share information about issues or themes within your book. Many novels are written as a platform to inform the masses about a particular issue or pain point. It might not be the main story line, but if you’ve included something that deserves some awareness built for it, then use your pre-launch blog posts to do that. For instance, one author I interviewed on the Ideas to Books podcast (Patricia Bradley) had some blood diamond smugglers in her book. Importing rough diamonds from certain countries have been banned in the United States. If your book will highlight a human rights, health, or social issue, give readers some more information via your blog, including why you chose to include it in your book.
- Other things to share during your book buzz blog series. While you wouldn’t want to give away your plot, you might discuss your brainstorming process, how you came up with the original idea, how you conduct research, how you develop characters, etc. See what other authors have done. Get creative. Brainstorm ideas you can share with your readers while you’re working on your work-in-progress.
Have you written a blog series to build buzz about an upcoming book? How did that go? What did you blog about while you were still writing your book?