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.
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:
- 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).
- 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?
- 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?
- “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.
- 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?
- 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?
- 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.
- 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!
- 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?
- 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.”
- 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.
- 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?
- 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.