13 Blog Post Ideas for Novelists

In case you are new here, I am a big advocate of blogging. I don’t know of a better way to build a platform than starting with a blog as your “homebase” and building from there. This is especially true for authors.

Row of Matches About to Catch Fire - Photo courtesy of ©iStockphoto.com/JamesBrey, Image #8023692

Photo courtesy of ©iStockphoto.com/JamesBrey

Occasionally, when I speak on the topic of social media, I get push-back from novelists. “Yes, a blog maybe great for non-fiction authors, but what about novelists? What can we write about?”

Good question. Here are thirteen post ideas to get you started—a baker’s dozen:

  1. Excerpts from Your Novel. This is probably the easiest. It has the added advantage of allowing us, your potential readers, to “sample the brew.” Just write a paragraph to set up the excerpt. Oh, and be sure to link to your book, so we can buy it (duh).
  2. Backstory of Your Novel. Tell us why you wrote your novel. How did you settle on this story? How did you come up with the main characters? Why did you chose the setting you did? What research did you have to do before you could start writing?
  3. A Behind-the-Scenes Look. Give us a sense of what it is like to be a novelist. How did you feel when you finally landed an agent? What does a typical writing day look like for you? What’s it like to see your book in print and hold a copy in your hand for the first time?
  4. “Directors” Notes. This is the kind of thing you occasionally see with extended versions of movies. Explain why you chose to start with a particular scene. Talk about the scenes you had to delete—or those you had to add to improve the story. Don’t underestimate the curiosity of your readers.
  5. Interview with Yourself. Authors often complain that professional reviewers haven’t read their book or don’t “get it.” Fine. Who knows your novel better than you? No one. So interview yourself. Have fun with it. What questions do you wish you would be asked?
  6. Interviews with Your Characters. Imagine your novel was a movie and you could interview the actors who played the main characters. What would you ask them? What would they say? Another idea: if your novel was made into a movie and you could select the cast, what famous actors would you have play the main roles?
  7. Interview with Other Novelists. Find other novelists in your genre and interview them. In fact, build a circle of novelists who are similar to you and grow your tribe together. Interview one another. Perhaps even do book giveaways.
  8. Interview with Your Editor. Publishing still has a mystique about it and people want a peek behind the curtain. I find that my readers love this. Ask your editor what it’s like to work with novelists. (If you’re brave, ask what it was like to work with you.) Get him or her to tell stories about working with the best and the worst!
  9. Interview with Marketers. This is another variation on the last idea. Talk to the marketing people. What’s it like to market fiction? How is it different than non-fiction? How is it like marketing a movie? What makes it fun? What makes it challenging?
  10. Advice for Other Writers. What tips and hacks do you have to offer other aspiring novelists? What advice do you have on coming up with the right story, securing an agent, meeting a deadline, or reviewing a marketing plan? Just answer the question, “What do I wish I had known then that I know now.”
  11. Common Obstacles. What are the challenges you face as a writer? What was it like to be rejected (as you undoubtedly were)? What kept you going when you wanted to quit? How do you deal with “writer’s block” or getting a negative review? Being honest and transparent humanizes you and strengthens the bond with your readers.
  12. Emotional Challenges. These could be an extension of the last idea, but focus on emotions. Certainly the writing experience brings out the best and the worst in us. Do you ever feel inadequate? Stuck? Overwhelmed? Disappointed? How do you deal with these emotions as a writer? How do you keep them from derailing you?
  13. Lessons Learned. If you have written a novel, you have done what millions aspire to but few ever accomplish. What have you learned along the way—about writing, about publishing, about marketing—about yourself. Tell us so we don’t have to learn the hard way.

I’m sure I am just scratching the surface. The key is to make it creative and fun.

If you have other ideas, I’d love to hear from you. In fact, I’d love to collect fifty solid ideas, as a way of helping out novelists who are working hard to build their platform.

Question: What blog post ideas do you have for novelists? You can leave a comment by clicking here.
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  • http://blog.cyberquill.com Cyberquill

    Post a prequel to your novel in installments. And always make sure to forget the royalties, so at the end of each post, just give your novel away. 

  • http://www.jmlalonde.com Joe Lalonde

    Great idea. I know Ted Dekker does a great job of this.

    Some suggestions I have are:

    Regular giveaways- This can draw in new readers
    Mini novel- Do a mini novel series of posts. Have it tie into one of your novels either as a prequel or sequel

    • http://www.tnealtarver.wordpress.com TNeal

      In reading other suggestions, your mini novel series comes to my mind as well.

  • Timothy Fish

    Write about the non-fiction aspect of the novel. People who read a novel based in World War II, for example, might be interested in the events of World War II. Blogging about those events may attract the people who are interested in reading a novel set it the same time.

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      That’s a great suggestion. Thanks.

    • http://www.jmlalonde.com Joe Lalonde

      I like that idea!

    • http://michaelhyatt.com/ Michael Hyatt

      Great suggestion. Thanks.

  • Carla B

    As an avid reader I find these suggestions exciting…I would find reading the author’s answers to just these 13 suggested topics worth my time as long as you don’t need to write pages and pages! You see, as an avid reader, I have many books going at once. For example, I am reading 2 eBooks, started a 30 day journal/book today, got 2 books in yesterday’s mail and 3 earlier this week, not to mention I read Books and Culture (Christianity Today) and the blog of Craig T. Owens regularly for ideas on what to read and why to read it. Snippets of  your thinking inspire me to search more of your work and help me understand what you are trying to accomplish with your writing. I have won 3 books from Michael Hyatt’s blog and so encourage you to consider giving him a few to give away too! (hint) He has, in fact, convinced me to start a blog and I am not even a writer! That is my Thanksgiving weekend project, right after I read my new horse book and apply some of those principles…maybe while eating leftover turkey?

    • http://www.jmlalonde.com Joe Lalonde

      Any idea on what you will be blogging on? I am always looking for great new content to read.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Luz-Gonzales/791804125 Luz Gonzales

    YOU LIGHT UP MY MATCH

    Michael: When I opened your email, I first saw the picture of the matches, I said to myself, what an idea! But then my curiosity told me to count the matches, I only counted 12. After I finished reading the short article, my curiosity took me back to the picture to count the matches again. Wow! There are 13 matches, I SAW YOUR MATCH LIGHTING MINE. Great I was among the 12th and you did lighted my life. I love your posts and thank you very much.

    Muchas Gracias,

    Luz “Speedy” Gonzales, Dallas, Texas

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      You’re welcome. I wonder how many others will count the matches!

      • http://twitter.com/EditorJamieC Jamie Clarke Chavez

        First thing I did, actually (it’s the editor in me). And then marveled! Hahaha.

      • Anonymous

        Counting the matches was the first thing I did after reading the title of the post.  Not sure why…just drew my curiousity to see if the number matched the title (pun intended).

  • http://successbeginstoday.org/wordpress John Richardson

    I think a blog on writing in general would be very powerful. Some great examples are blogs by Jeff Goins  and Mary Demuth. As a relatively new fiction writer, I devour creative ideas. Both of these blogs have really been an inspiration.

    • http://goinswriter.com/ Jeff Goins

      Thanks, John. Really appreciate that.

    • Timothy Fish

      That works for some people, obviously, but most of us who write about writing don’t get much interest.

  • http://twitter.com/SusanLower Susan Lower

    My blog has been in a loll lately, thank you Michael for
    these great ideas in resurrecting what I’ve been trying to build these past few
    years. I was always afraid to write about what I was writing and give my
    readers too much information being an unpublished author, but I can see now how
    this might be fun.

  • http://twitter.com/RookieWriter David Barry DeLozier

    Great suggestions. I wrote three pages in my journal this morning on subjects I could blog about as a novelist, but I didn’t have any of these except excerpts from my manuscript.  How timely!  Is there any value (or is too dangerous)  to solicit online critiques (i.e. “Which logline is stronger?” “Which title sparks your interest?” “Which cover design would draw your eye to the shelf?” etc.). Thanks for a this helpful post.

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      I do this all the time. Search my blog for “cover” or “cover design.”

  • http://www.godsabsolutelove.com Patricia Zell

    I imagine a blog would also be a good place for a novelist to find out what readers want from storylines to favorite supporting characters (who could have storylines of their own). A novelist could also run contests for things like titles, characters’ names, etc., to build excitement and relationships with readers.

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      Excellent suggestion!

    • Rob Sorbo

      This could work especially well if the author uses his/her blog to develop a novel. For example, if each post was a series of short stories that would be expanded into a novel, then you would have commenters who could help develop ideas for the book (of course, giving appropriate credit would be a challenge.

  • http://twitter.com/KellyCombs Kelly Combs

    You know the first novel you wrote…the one you loved but couldn’t get published.  That is what you could post in installments on your blog.  Most writers have a drawer full of “lost loves,” this would be a neat way to showcase some stuff that you loved, but for whatever reasons were not market-able.

    (And hopefully if you are a published novelist, you can recognize if that lost love was junk, and not a good idea to post on your blog, or decent, just not market-able.)

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      That’s a great suggestion, too!

    • Anonymous

      I recently published a poem on my blog. 

       I don’t consider myself a poet, but have written several over the years, mostly for my own self-expression, not for others.  I can’t see myself ever publishing a book of poetry.

      However, a poem I wrote several years ago seemed like a good fit, so I went ahead and published it as my blog post.

      While the poem received very little comment on my blog, it received a lot of very positive feedback from my FaceBook friends and family.

      • http://bentheredothat.com Ben Patterson

        Good job, Joseph! Keep up the great work.

    • http://www.tnealtarver.wordpress.com TNeal

      Excellent thoughts, Kelly. Although my literary firstborn launches soon, I think your suggestion prompts other related ideas. Thanks–Tom

  • Anonymous

    Thanks. I made the leap from being a three time published non-fiction author to an aspiring, unpublished novelist. I’ve been floundering with my blog ever since. 

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      Hopefully, this will stimulate your creativity!

  • Carla K.

    These are extremely great ideas… they can be tweeked to be used for Direct Sales Companies and products as well. ex. Interview with someone using the product, Interview with you as the consultant/direct seller, Interview with another direct seller who sells similar products, lessons learned while selling,

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      Excellent application. Thanks.

  • http://twitter.com/LynetteBenton Lynette Benton

    The ideas in this post are superb—for nonfiction writers as well as novelists. I teach and write memoir and plan to share these ideas with my students and use them myself. Thank you.

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      These would definitely work for memoir.

  • http://goinswriter.com/ Jeff Goins

    Great list. This is you at your best, Mike (IMO). I love posts like these. I especially like 10-13. I think more authors could share some of their struggles through their blogs. I rarely see people doing that and would really benefit from reading what well-established writers have learned over the years.

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      Thanks, Jeff. I love reading about writer’s struggles, too. That’s why I love reading writer’s biographies or books on writing.

      • http://www.tnealtarver.wordpress.com TNeal

        I assume you mean author biographies beyond the “About the Author” blurbs where everyone is an “award-winning” author. I’m an “award-winning” author if you count first place in the Cub Scout sack race. But I agree with the sentiment. That’s why I’m interested in reading Jeff’s recommendation, “The War of Art.”

        • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

          Yes, I’m talking about books like Stephen King, On Writing or Anne Lamott, Bird by Bird. The War of Art is Awesome as is Do the Work, also by Steven Pressfield.

          • http://www.tnealtarver.wordpress.com TNeal

            King’s book was insightful as well as practical. I’d add Jerry Jenkins’ “Writing for the Soul” to that list. I’ll definitely pick up Pressfield’s book(s) soon.

    • http://iamconvicted.com Brett Henley

      Agreed 100% Jeff.

      I’d love for more writers to share their struggles with the process openly, just not sure we as a creative species have broken through that wall of self-doubt yet.

      Transparency can be a very risky proposition … especially if you’re new and struggling with getting your feet set and confidence up.

    • http://bentheredothat.com Ben Patterson

      Success is great, but it’s in the struggles where we relate.

      • http://goinswriter.com/ Jeff Goins

        Right

    • http://www.tnealtarver.wordpress.com TNeal

      I agree with you, Jeff. Overnight sensations aren’t sensational at first. It helps to know that when you’re in the early stages of a writing career.

  • Anonymous

    Great post. I would also suggest reviewing other books of the type you’re writing — ESPECIALLY sharing you enthusiasm for great books by other writers (which may then lead to an interview!) I love to read about books I might like from people I trust.

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      Great suggestion. How did I miss that one?!

  • http://brandonweldy.wordpress.com Brandon Weldy

    I like the idea of doing interviews with characters. Reading these 13 suggestions, I realized I would be very interested in a blog that consisted of these things. I love to watch the special features of a movie, learning how it all came together. That is a great idea for a blog!

    • Timothy Fish

      This is one that I did a few times. Then on one I turned it around because the character was a television reporter, so I had a character interview the author.

      • Anonymous

        Hah!  Sounds like fun!  I love learning about character development fo a book or series I’ve enjoyed!

  • http://www.jeffrandleman.com Jeff Randleman

    Great thoughts!  I’m participating in NaNoWriMo, the challenge to write 50000 words in November, in fiction.  I’m sure that none of these will ever be published, but it’s great “training”, so to speak.

    I was wondering how to incorporate a fictional work into my blog, someday anyway.  Thanks for the great ideas!

  • http://www.authorcynthiaherron.com Cynthia Herron

    I’ve found if I keep my blog posts somewhat diversified, that generates more traffic. (Your blog is a great example on how to do this well!) Thank you for sharing your terrific ideas today!

    I’ve also discovered that when I use action verbs in my post titles, my numbers increase. 

    I began blogging as a way to connect, share, and have fun while my website is under production. I post three times a week because I think consistency drives traffic and speaks professionalism.

    Oh, and this may be a bit off topic, but I’ve learned it really is okay to moderate comments. I enjoy a good discussion, but if someone’s site links back to profanity, etc. I will block it (to the best of my ability.) I’m not a prude, but profaning my Savior’s name is never acceptable. Also, I can agree to disagree, but there comes a point where lines must be drawn.

    A curiosity question…IF you were a novelist, what genre would you write in and why? (Or…should I wait until the ACFW conference next year to ask that??)

    Blessings and thanks for the wonderful blog post tips!

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      Thanks for your kind words.

      If I had to pick a genre, I think I would pick post-apocalyptic fiction.

  • J_Ann

    Provide pictures or drawings to show your characters or setting. Allow your readers to ask questions. Provide a music list that you listened writting the book. Provide alternate covers. Provide guidelines for class or bookclub discussion. Talk about your decision to start writting. Discuss your favorite books and current reading (others author might do the same for you!). Provide a detailed character background. A family tree of characters. A map of the setting.    

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      Great suggestions.

    • Rob Sorbo

      I could see this being especially appealing if it is a series (especially something on the level of Wheel of Times or Lord of the Rings).

    • http://www.tnealtarver.wordpress.com TNeal

      You are a fount of good, practical ideas.

  • http://iamconvicted.com Brett Henley

    Fantastic Michael.

    How about this:

    In addition to sharing the back story  (behind the writing and creative process), share content that provides context for the narrative itself?

    For fiction or creative non, post video and photos that offer a deeper dive into the story – This might include interviewing story subjects on key points from the book.

    For true nonfiction – Share related content from relevant blog posts that expand on concepts covered in the book. For example, if you’re writing an e-book on content marketing, you could link to content on your blog that hones in on specific tips for different industries.

    Obviously, commenting isn’t the appropriate platform to really expand on these concepts, but the bigger picture is adding value and context to the content in your book.

  • J_Ann

    I’m currently writting in French (I’m from Quebec City, Canada) but consider switching to English. French market is very limited and for some reason, our book rarely are successuful in Europe, and are almost never translate in English. ANy tought about that?  

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      The English-speaking market is definitely much larger. I start with English if you can.

  • http://www.marydemuth.com Mary DeMuth

    Finding a core idea/issue from your novel is also a great way to find blog post ideas. For The Muir House, the issue was blocked or hidden memories. I’ve written several posts about that. For my Defiance series, it was family secrets. I actually created a blog where folks could share their family secrets. This gave me several national media interviews. So if you can extract an issue from your fiction, you can create visible and interesting posts.

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      You are a great example of this, Mary. Thanks for sharing your experience.

      • http://www.marydemuth.com Mary DeMuth

        Thanks Mike!

    • http://www.tnealtarver.wordpress.com TNeal

      My soon-to-hit-Amazon novel deals with heaven, hell, faith, hope, and reconciliation. Based on the themes, the story will certainly raise questions and issues people will want addressed outside of the book. I know that I need to offer a clear presentation of the Gospel as a part of my blog. I’ve given that a lot of thought as I think about the marketing aspect of writing.

  • Rob Sorbo

    If they were kept to appropriate blog length, I’d be interested in reading short stories by that author. 

    Then, if several short stories tie together, it could some day turn into a book. As a reader, I’d be more excited about that book and ready to recommend it, because I felt like I was involved with it from the ground level.

  • Janalyn Voigt

    Thank you, Michael. I’ve been brainstorming how to add more value for readers to my site.

  • http://insearchofwaterfalls.com Raj Paulus

    I love music almost as much as I love writing, so I often compile a soundtrack for the “movie” version of my novels. 

    Personally, I love to Blog about the quest of the writer amidst the daily madness of life. I think this helps your readers to know that you create alternative worlds but still have to live and breath and survive in their world.

  • http://twitter.com/NathanAndersonJ Nathan J. Anderson

    Thanks for the fantastic ideas! I’ve struggled with how much self-promotion to do in my blog posts, but now I see I’m really just unveiling a curtain to the inner workings of my novel. And, you’re right, people love that. I feel set free! 

  • http://tcavey.blogspot.com/ TCAvey

    Reading this post made me excited!  I can’t wait for my book to be published, I want to do an interview with my main character and possibly a few others! 
    Thanks for all the ideas!

  • http://golfwisdomlife.com Larry Galley

    Thanks Michael, many of your points seem to transcend genre of writing.  Good stimuli.  Thanks again.

    Larry

  • Sherri

    I think a post about critiquing your critiques would be helpful: how do you decide which suggestions to follow and which to disregard?  

    I love posts that incorporate inspirational sayings that I can post in my office. They remind me why I write and help when I get frustrated or discouraged. 

    Another would be your strangest writing ritual. For example, do you always have a certain snack close by when you write, or wear a certain hat, or chew gum… you know, any of the weird things that people do as inspiration (think sports figures, they’re the worst). 

    Your most common grammatical/spelling mistakes.

    This was a great post.  Thank you.

  • Jlstott

    Hi Michael, I really appreciate your blog and the tips you provide. 

  • http://www.SevenPillarsOfSuccess.Net Louise Thaxton

    Just goes to show – whether fictioin or non-fiction – there’s always something to blog about! 

  • Anonymous

    These are all great ideas. As a reader, I feel as if I have a special connection with an author when reading his or her blog. It gives me those “behind the scene” moments that not all readers know about.

    In addition to your tips, a novelist can also write:

    - Blog posts dedicated to a character in the novel. Not all aspects of a character is explored in the novel, but they can be explored in the author’s blog.

    - An alternate ending to the novel. Some authors originally intended to use a different ending but may have changed their mind or something – that will be interesting to read.

    - A contest for the readers: Create your own epilogue and win the author’s next novel. :P

  • http://www.gailsangle.com Gail

    I like the idea of interviewing the characters and director’s cut. Even in well finished novels there are always things you’d like to know that didn’t quite make the cut. A mystery novel I finished last night left me assuming that two of the character finally got their romance together (seeing as the competition was either killed or in jail) but did they really? This is the kind of things readers would love to know. So please, do us a favour novelists and include it in your blog :)
    And better yet on a blog we can then ask the questions we’re longing to ask :)

    • http://www.tnealtarver.wordpress.com TNeal

      I know the character interview comes into play as I write. When I’m stuck, I usually interview the POV character who directs the action in a scene. I can see how that could translate into a blog post.

  • http://www.ginasmom.com ginasmom

    Every time i read a great story, my mind goes on a little journey of it’s own, turning this way and that way, stopping and poking at different places, trying to figure out how the author came up with the idea/s, what got him or her started, what his or her thought process was, and the journey it took to complete the work. I especially love to do this with science fiction, where the stories are far into the future (Something like Star strek), and yet the characters still remain very human or very human like (Vulcans maybe). If an author would sit down with me (video blogging works), and gives me a chance to look at this part of his/her thought process, this would make their work even more enjoyable for me.

  • Pingback: Wednesday Link List « Thinking Out Loud

  • Diana

    I have been blogging about everything BUT my novel.  Guess I should change strategy.  As soon as I finish the 2 book reviews I promised to deliver, I’ll start with the prologue.  http://solitruth.com

  • Andrea

    Thank you for this.  I just started a blog and I am staring at it wondering what to say.  now I have plenty of ideas

  • sgchris

    Great post – and comments – of ideas.  Thanks.

  • http://www.tnealtarver.wordpress.com TNeal

    Mike–I’m blogging already but I plan on starting another blog directly related with the book I’m releasing through WestBow Press. You’ve scattered a mess of seed thoughts. I’ll definitely plant a few. I especially find the cut scenes littering the floor a good place to start. Or a scene from a POV that doesn’t exist in the novel. Thanks–Tom

  • http://www.tnealtarver.wordpress.com TNeal

    Mike–this is pure gold and timely to boot. I’m in the process of starting an additional blog directly related to my novel. Your encouragement to blog helped launch my first blog that seems to be coming into its own in only recent days. Thank goodness for quiet beginnings. They give you the opportunity to fall flat on your face with little fanfare.

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      Awesome. I am so glad it is timely for you!

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=585468399 Ryan Christiansen

    This kind of author event could lead to a good blog posting: http://knuckledownpress.blogspot.com/2011/11/e-book-author-holds-unconventional.html

    When Steve Riddle’s new book So
    We Bought the Farm hit the virtual shelves this past week, he wanted to
    hold an author signing. But how do you hold a signing event when your book is an
    e-book?

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=585468399 Ryan Christiansen

    Here is mention of an unconventional author event that could lead to a good blog post:

    http://knuckledownpress.blogspot.com/2011/11/e-book-author-holds-unconventional.html

    When Steve Riddle’s new book So
    We Bought the Farm hit the virtual shelves this past week, he wanted to
    hold an author signing. But how do you hold a signing event when your book is an
    e-book?

  • Mofasp

    This thread has great information on
    shopping.  A friend of mine told me about this cool app that allows
    you to get instant feedback from your Facebook friends on whether you should
    buy something or not (for themselves or as a gift).  Here’s the link
    - I think the app is coming out around Black Friday but you can sign up now:

    http://www.leapcommerce.com

  • http://www.gloriarepp.com Gloria Repp

    Thank you, Michael for these suggestions. I don’t blog because writing seems to take up all my creative energy, (won’t mention family, social media, research travel) . . . . but with these 13 lovely bits of light, perhaps I could . . . .  The comments are helpful too. Another suggestion would be personal-response reviews about books the author is reading, especially if they pertain to a subject related to his novel. 
     

  • http://twitter.com/seasonedjoy sheilac31

    This is why I like Jody Hedlund’s blog so much – she writes posts using a lot of these ideas. I was a regular reader of her blog long before I read any of her novels. I’ve enjoyed her posts about critique partners, the writing life, and the editing process especially.

  • D. A. WATT

    Michael, as a founding member (and sometime a floundering one at that) of  http://www.writersinthestorm
    I agree with your post and the great suggestions  and comments from your readers encourage me to keep on blogging while writing my thriller, working and taking care of my family. It’s a brave new techie world, evolving at the speed of light. Iit takes some of us a bit longer than others to wrap our understanding around the amazing benefits that online social media offers. I am still learning and adjusting to twittering and blogging and Linking up and Friending and Hooting, and then when I think I’ve got some sort of mastery, the next greatest tool comes my way,  igoolge or ???

     I enjoy your writing very much and have aready read your free e-book.  Very affirming.
    Thank you for sharing your wisdom and your faith shines through, as well.

    Best, D. A. WATT

  • http://uma-maheswaran.blogspot.com/ Uma Maheswaran S

    Thanks for the awesome ideas.  Novelists can write about their bizarre experiences, intersting incidents, etc in their day to day life.

  • Marcia A Richards

    I have written a post in my main character’s voice about her backstory. My genre is historical fiction focusing on the early 20th century, so I have written posts about events and people of that era. Other posts are stories about my parents, who grew up in the 1920s and 30s, exposing a bit of life in those times.
    All of your ideas have givne me more ideas to work on…thanks, Michael. 

  • http://www.facebook.com/marichards12 Marcia Richards

    Authors and writers: tips on blog ideas! 

  • http://www.thewritingrange.com Diane K

    Thank you for the great brainstorming list — I enjoyed it very much. I’m the staff writer and CCO (Chief Content Officer) at a web design firm where, in addition to custom web design, we do a good deal of internet marketing for clients. For writers, establishing a platform is not vastly different from the local widget-maker trying to sell more widgets. Therefore, whether you’re wanting to sell more books, spread your message, or sell more widgets, you still need to build a community/tribe/audience, build trust, and create buzz about your product.

    I’ve seen a fair number of people lately who grasp the need for marketing and have a sense of available tools (website, SEO, social media, blogs, articles, etc.), but don’t know how to use these tools efficiently. So, perhaps that’s something to add to your list.

    Also, I have a strong editorial bent, and am a bit of a Grammar Nazi. There are a lot of very gifted wordsmiths and storytellers out there who are grateful for good editorial and proofreading support, so I believe blog posts on some of the technical aspects of writing could be helpful as well. I’ve included a few in my recently-launched blog, The Writing Range (www.thewritingrange.com), and they’ve generated more comments than other topics.

    I’ll definitely be promoting this post on my blog! Thank you, Michael.

  • Anonymous

    I particularly liked  2.  I would love to hear the back story from some of my favorite novels. 

    I’ve wondered why more novelists don’t blog.  Can you imagine how many hits John Grisham or Suzanne Collins would get per day?  I would love to hear these and other novelist talk about their art.

  • http://www.vannettachapman.com Vannettachapman

    Great ideas, Michael … and the comments are good as well. I think we need to ask ourselves, “Why are readers purchasing our books?” then provide more of that. I write Amish fiction. Readers want to know how to apply the plain life to their techno-driven, pressure-filled lives. My Saturday blog focuses on the plain life and what we can take away from it. I think that would work with any book/genre.

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  • http://twitter.com/jamespinnick7 James Pinnick

    Michael,

    Perfect. Thank you, thank you. I have implemented the first two already.

    James
    Author-The Last Seven Pages
    http://www.jamespinnick.com

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  • http://SignificantEncounters.com Deborah

    Greetings. 

    I enjoy your blog, so I have nominated you over at Versatile
    Blog Award. I will be   mentioning your
    blog on mine tomorrow.  If you choose to
    accept this award, you can click here to see the requirements.    http://versatilebloggeraward.wordpress.com/about/

    Thanks again for your continued great content!

  • MW

    Great ideas.  Thank you, Michael

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  • John Condliffe

    Thanks for ideas Michael…It would be good to throw ideas out about what you are writing at the moment, try to get some reaction.

  • http://brianbbaker.com/about/ Brian B Baker

    These are some awesome suggestions. I’m sure to use a few of these. Great post Michael. Especially like 2,12 and 13.

  • Melinda V Inman

    I’m blogging about the process (A Novel Journey), from seeking a publisher or agent, to signing the contract, and currently to the pre-pub ordering. With each update I reveal the surprises and lessons learned about publishing and the newly gained insights into my work, my calling, and my faith. I blog bi-weekly. Once a week I write about this novel journey. My other post for the week is inspirational, as I am also a bible teacher and speaker.

  • Heather Harris

    Thanks for this post, Michael! I’m in the planning stages of a novel (my first) and I’ve struggled with how to begin building my platform – these ideas help tremendously!

    • http://theordainedbarista.com/ Barry Hill

      Heather—good luck with the platform and the novel! Very exciting!

  • Christina Garner

    These are great ideas. I’m wary of making my blog be a how-to… There are plenty of others who are already doing that, and quite well. But I do think bringing my audience further into the world of my characters and glimpsing behind the curtain is a great idea.

    • http://theordainedbarista.com/ Barry Hill

      Yeah—people always love a behind the curtain look at how the novelist (in your case) works, thinks, motivates, creates… etc. I think it’s a great idea, Christina!

  • Lauren H Brandenburg

    I so needed this! As a middle grade writer I am super excited about 1 and 6! I’m always like, “Do junior high kiddos even read blogs?” They might now! Thanks!

  • http://www.cathrynhasek.com/ Cathryn Hasek

    Okay, so I’m finally starting my first nonfiction book. My first book, period! I have told everyone I know that I will be sequestering myself in my study so I can focus, but perhaps documenting my struggle (which I know will befall me) would be “blog worthy”? Talk about your accountability factor! No better way to keep my behind in the chair…unless it starts to take priority…nah…hmmm…

  • Jodie Llewellyn

    Nice ideas

  • Nate Brown

    Mike, really great stuff. My question is: do i start the blogging process while I’m still writing the book or just after it’s published?

    • http://michaelhyatt.com/ Michael Hyatt

      The sooner the better. Blogging after the fact won’t help you much unless you already have a platform.

  • James M M Baldwin

    I plan to post a blog concerning the things I’ve done to improve my writing, such as, my writers group, books on writing, and various methods of improving my craft.

  • Brownskyn

    I was looking for “help for beginner bloggers” and came across this post. I quickly devoured it and started reading the comments for more feedback and ideas. I thought it was odd that all these authors were commenting and didn’t see how this post, and the comments for that matter, was suppose to be helpful to “novices”. Bahahaha! Thank you Michael for consistently putting out great material, you have been a mentor to me for just over a year now and the journey has been encouragingly stretching. StIll laughing at myself.