Open Book: 3 Great Reasons for an Unpublished Novelist to Blog
People blog for many reasons, but for the unpublished novelist, blogging is a no brainer.
I can’t remember which self-help guru wrote that if you want to be a novelist, you have to do what novelist do. If you imitate the behaviors of novelist, you will one day be that novelist. One of the behaviors all published authors seem to share is blogging. Here are the three great reasons why you need to start if you haven’t already.
1. Name Recognition – Your friends and family might know you are a budding novelist, but you will need a few more thousand book buyers when your novel is finished. Establishing a platform before your first book comes out will give your book a sales foundation.
2. Expertise – Blogging is a wonderful way of validating your writing through your expertise. For example, say that your novel is about a mother of a young boy who joins the Confederate army and is wounded inAntietam. What if you blog about the Civil War? What if you create a following of historians with your historical interpretations, suggested readings, and new findings about the topic? Couldn’t you see yourself having a dialogue with some of your followers? Wouldn’t it be great if your loyal followers retweeted your blog to their loyal followers? This is called viral marketing.
Your Civil War expertise gives your readers the confidence that you will be able to tell a Civil War story with confidence.
3. Website, Blogging and Marketing – You can shamelessly promote your first novel on your website. You can blog about it. You can hop on related websites and leave a link to your new book to increase more widespread viewing and inevitably sales.
Today, a website is equivalent to yesterday’s business card. However, unlike the painful process of handing business cards out one at a time, now you can reach thousands of people from all corners of the globe in a few minutes.
Your website will reveal much more about you than merely the standard business card contact information. From the tone, the style, and the format, your personality will emerge. The viewer, a complete stranger, might make an intellectual (and sometimes an emotional, depending on how open you are about your personal life) connection with you. This translates naturally into greater book sales.
And for the website, blogging keeps your site fresh. If you understand your audience, you can select topics that you know that will keep them coming back.
It might be prudent to keep in mind that even though your candor or attempts at humor might increase your click rate, the energy expended in placating someone else’s bruised ego means less time working on your novel. You just don’t know how your life will move forward with an angry mother —or worse yet, an angry mother-in-law. So, innocuous storytelling can have consequences.