Book Marketing: 5 Easy Ways to Blog Your Book

book marketing

You’ve written a book. Now it’s time for some simple book marketing magic. Why not blog your book? Not only is blogging a free promotional method, it’s also a way of building your readership for your next book.

I started my first blog a decade and a half ago, and have always used blogs for book marketing. Indeed, looking back, I’ve rarely bothered with other promotional methods. To me, blogs are instant publishing. I love the idea that I can type something, and within minutes, potentially millions of people could read my words.

Blogs’ are the lazy person’s book marketing. My thrill comes from writing. Once a book’s done, I tend to lose interest. Blogging’s writing, so it keeps me interested in a book.

Hate Writing? Book Marketing With Blogs Isn’t for You

You can create video and audio blog posts if you hate writing, but those options involve writing too, so if you’re all written-out once you’ve completed your book, blogging isn’t the right promotional method for you.

Assuming however that while writing may not be the joy of your life, you don’t actively hate it, let’s look at five easy ways to blog your book.

1. Start Early. Blog While You’re Writing Your Book.

Don’t wait until your book’s done before you create a blog. You’re missing out on creating interest before your book’s publication. Build your mailing list now. (More on your mailing list shortly.)

Tell your readers about your upcoming book; as much as you’re comfortable revealing.

2. Blog for Your Readers: What Do They Care About?

You want to market your book. However, droning on and on about your book won’t win you much of a readership. Moreover, you’re using energy which needs to go into your book.

You’re blogging for your book’s audience. Who are they? What do they care about? Think about your ideal reader, and write for him, or her.

Let’s say you’re writing a romance novel. Romance readers come from all walks of life. You’ve got a million and one things you could blog about, from the area in which your book is set, to recipes. Blog about your interests. Review others’ books in the same genre, or any book you find fascinating. Make it plain you’re a romance novelist, and share your book’s publication date.

The author of the Historical Fiction Research blog shares fascinating historical snippets with readers.

Jane Austen’s World is a wonderful blog about all things Jane. I became aware of the blog via the blog’s Pinterest boards. With 173 boards, over 62,000 pins, and over 48,000 followers, the blog and Pinterest work brilliantly together.

pinterest

Take a tip from Jane Austen’s World; if you don’t already have a Pinterest account, create one. Then pin, pin, pin… and pin some more.

3. Consider WIIFM – “What’s in It for Me?”

Millions of blog posts are published each day. Blogging’s fine, as a hobby. However, you’re using a blog for book marketing, so you need to be aware not only of your book’s potential readers, but also what might turn them into book buyers.

Consider what’s in it for them. “WIIFM” – what’s in it for me? is a copywriter’s acronym; people read what they read for a reason. Give them a reason. Think about what appeals to your readers.

You can take cues from other authors’ blogs, but don’t fall into the “me too” trap. Be authentic. Write what your perceive your readers care about, as long as you care about it too.

Consider popular books such as the “50 Shades” trilogy. The trilogy’s made millions for its author. It started out as fan fiction for the Twilight books, and was hugely popular. Twilight fans wanted more, and EL James gave it to them.

I can’t speak to either the 50 Shades or Twilight series, since I haven’t read them. However, the WIIFM aspect intrigues me. Probably unconsciously, both Stephenie Meyer and EL James tapped into a deep and profitable vein in public consciousness.

4. Create a Mailing List: It’s the Reason You Blog.

Someone comes to your blog, reads a post, and clicks away. With so much content online, the chance that he or she will return are slim. You can increase the likelihood that someone will return to your blog by creating a mailing list. Your mailing list is key to building your readership. Make creating a list a priority.

5. Forget “Musts.” Do What You Like. It’s Your Book, and Your Blog.

Few things infuriate me more than editors, or literary agents, or anyone else, telling an author how to blog. It’s your blog; do what you like. Over the years, I’ve had many people telling me how I should blog. I’ve thanked them kindly, and gone my own way.

Up until 2005, selling anything on a blog was frowned on. Anyone bringing crass commercialism into blogging was not only a horrible blogger, their morals were suspect too.

Eventually, I got a wry chuckle out of the “you can’t do that!” anti-commercialism crowd. After 2005, they gave in, and jumped into making money from their blogs. Mind you, I was tempted to ask them what had happened to their “pure blogging” stance, but I resisted the temptation.

Be you. It’s your book, and your blog. There are no rules. Moreover, just because something works today, doesn’t mean it will work tomorrow. Please understand, I’m not talking about fundamentals like book marketing and blogging, they work. I’m talking about tricks and strategies which come and go.

Amazon’s KDP Select is an example. It works for many authors, but not as the tsunami of cash it once was, for some authors. “Free” works today, as it always will. But don’t base your book marketing on one trick, like “free” and expect it to work forever. Write the best book you can. Use KDP Select, or Google Play, or whatever, AND build a real blog. Put your heart into your blog, as you put it into your book, and book marketing via blogging will work for you.

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, and on Twitter: @angee

Blogging To Books: Can You Turn Your Blog Into a Book?

Blogging To Books: Can You Turn Your Blog Into a Book?

You’re blogging. You’ve got a blog, and would like to turn it into a book. I’m coaching two writers who are doing that.

One writer’s been blogging for over a year. He’s using his blog as the basis for his book, revising and updating posts. The other writer hasn’t create a blog yet; he’s blogging his book as he goes along.

Over the past weeks, I’ve received many questions about turning blogs into books, so let’s look at a couple of options.

1. You’ve got great content, which would make a book.

Gina Trapani of Lifehacker was approached by literary agents on the strength of the Lifehacker blog:

That’s the power of a consistent blog that builds its readership over time: instead of my pitching a book to an agent, and agent came to me. Since that initial contact by David (who did become my agent), SIX other literary agents contacted me asking about a Lifehacker book.

You don’t have to wait around for literary agents. Compile some of your content into an ebook. Ebooks are forever:

Trading hours for dollars, no matter how profitable those hours may be, is a dead end. The words you write are paid for and done.

When you self-publish, on the other hand, you’re investing in your future. You may make just a few dollars initially, but if you write good books, in areas which are selling, your income will steadily rise. Your books will sell for years.

Consider this: your enthusiastic readers, if they love your blog, will be only too eager to read your book.

As Gina says in her articles, find a theme which will work as a book, then use your blog posts to create your ebook.

2. You want to write a book, but… it’s scary.

I love writing books. Here’s why: I’ve been doing it for years. It’s natural to me. If you do something often enough, it becomes easy. In a sense, of course. Writing is a slog, but once you know what you’re doing, you can have a lot of fun with it.

That’s a clue: writing your first book is scary. I’ve told the story many times: when I wrote my first novel, I sat at my typewriter day after day, with tears running down my face. My hands shook as I rolled two sheets of paper, with carbon paper sandwiched between them, onto the platen.

All these years later, those memories amaze me. I was a real glutton for punishment.

If you’re scared too, why not sneak up on your book? Blog. In New Blogger? Why Free Services Are Good For Newbies, I said:

… your blog helps you to write every day – this is a wonderful habit… and it’s harder to develop than you might think. Of course, on the other side of the coin, you have those writers who don’t want to write “for free”. If you feel this way, consider that you can DO STUFF with your blog — why not turn it into a book, or a series of books?

Writing a blog post is a lot less scary than sitting down at your computer, and thinking to yourself: “OK, Self. Let’s write a book.”

Try it. Blog. Sneak up on your book, by blogging. Before you know it, you’ll have a mass of material which will make a wonderful book, or ebook.

 

, and on Twitter: @angee