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031 – What Should Novelists Blog About?

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Many novelists have a hard time with blogging. So they end up ignoring this powerful tool. In this episode, Jim and Thomas talk about what to blog about and what topics to avoid.

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13 Responses to 031 – What Should Novelists Blog About?

  1. Carrie Lynn Lewis June 4, 2014 at 6:28 pm #

    Great podcast, but I am confused.

    The first item you listed on the What Not To Blog About list was unedited versions of a novel (for fiction writers).

    I recently read the blog post, Why Your Blog Should Be Your Book’s First Draft, and have been busily planning a campaign to serialize a story on one of my blogs.

    Have you changed your mind?

    Or is there more to the story that I don’t yet know?

    Help!

    • Vicki Cato June 5, 2014 at 7:32 am #

      I am an unpublished writer of Historical Romance, and I am planning to set up a blog. You have answered one of my biggest questions! I now know what to use for content. Thank you for for the helpful information.

    • Thomas Umstattd Jr. June 5, 2014 at 1:31 pm #

      @Carrie

      Great question. No I have not changed my mind. The difference is between fiction and nonfiction. I think that nonfiction books should be blogged first. If you are giving advice people don’t need a lot of context to enjoy that post. Also good blog posts on your topic can rank on Google bringing your more attention and more readers.

      None of these benefits apply to fiction. Chapter 5 of a book makes little sense without reading chapters 1-4 first. So I don’t recommend blogging your novel. I have seen it tried dozens of times by different authors and I have never seen it work.

      Podcasting your novel is a different story and a topic for another episode.

      • Carrie Lynn Lewis June 6, 2014 at 12:23 pm #

        Thomas,

        Thanks for the response. I very much appreciate it.

        What would you have to say for serializing a novel that’s been through the editing wringer a couple of times.

        I’m unpublished as a fiction author and thought serialization might be a good way to introduce myself. Since I have no problems offering free samples (or entire books) to new readers, would there be a problem with serialization?

        Thanks again for the response. I’m looking forward to your comments.

        Carrie

        • Thomas Umstattd June 6, 2014 at 1:43 pm #

          I have seen many authors try posting serialized novels as blogs and I have yet to see it get traction with readers or attention from publishers. You could be the first to do it successfully. Just be aware that you are trying to walk through a wasteland filled with the corpses of the authors who have gone before.

          Giving it away as a single ebook it a much more successful practice. I have also seen serialized podiobooks and graphic novels work.

          • Carrie Lynn Lewis June 6, 2014 at 2:43 pm #

            Wastelands and corpses. An interesting analogy (especially since I’m reading Lord of the Rings right now).

            I’ll have to give it more thought. The idea of successfully walking a wasteland (and being the first) is intriguing, but perhaps my time might be better spent getting the book ready to publish.

            Thanks again for your help. I’ve gained much from AuthorMedia and now NovelMarketing.

            Carrie

  2. Della June 5, 2014 at 3:13 am #

    Thanks for the great ideas, guys!

    Carrie – I think the keyword there is “unedited.” For most of us,our story lines undergo changes in the process of revision, and those changes are often necessary to make the story internally consistent as the story unfolds. For example, two of the major characters in the published version of my book are brother and sister, but they began as ex-spouses. Obviously, such a huge relationship shift dramatically alters their interaction in individual scenes as well as the storyline, The changes needed to make the adjustment would be very confusing to a reader if that earlier version had been available as a blog.

  3. Carrie Lynn Lewis June 5, 2014 at 11:57 am #

    Della,

    That makes sense and I did catch the word “uneditted” in the podcast.

    But the blog post I cited from Author Media made no such distinction. I just wanted to make sure before moving forward, since this is such an outside-the-box step for me.

    Thanks for the answer.

  4. Michelle Connell July 6, 2014 at 8:56 pm #

    There are different ways to blog a novel and I’m blogging an inspirational novel for fun. Most of the book is already written except for a few sections, so I edit each post before blogging it.

    I think many times we take the fun out of doing things, and think too much on platform, followers, etc. If writing can’t be fun, you might as well do something else.

  5. Elizabeth Edgett July 26, 2014 at 8:32 pm #

    I bet you’ve never heard of this one before. My blog is called “Writing With The Stars”, a daily astrological weather report for writers. This may seem to be along the lines of a “how to write” blog, but I believe that writers are also readers. We’ll see how this goes. I just started it in June. I’m still writing my first novel. Love your informative site!

  6. Carrie Lynn Lewis August 29, 2014 at 12:33 pm #

    It would give your readers a reason to come back every day and that is what we’re all looking for. Steady traffic and loyal readers!

  7. Monica Rodriguez September 2, 2014 at 3:44 pm #

    I really appreciated this topic because I’ve struggled with the same idea: I want to draw readers to my blog, who are not necessarily writers. I was already switching the focus of my blog last year (before I stopped altogether), posting more book reviews and fewer posts on writing.

    Now want to relaunch my blog and make sure this time I focus on drawing in readers. Your tips helped a lot, but about half of them were more helpful for established or already published authors, bloggers with an audience (blogging updates on your books, or even answering readers’ questions require that you *have* those already). Could you possibly do an episode on how a writer with no published books and no readership (yet) can find topics to blog about?

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  1. How Novelists Can Blog - Kristen Stieffel - April 16, 2015

    […] For more ideas, listen to the Novel Marketing Podcast episode “What Should Novelists Blog About?” […]

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