Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Book Promotion by Topic

We've been looking at using your research to create content that promotes your book in a round-about way. In other words, rather than solely focusing on blurbs and reviews of your book, and author profiles and interviews, I want to encourage you to think of ways you can attract readers who are interested in the themes and details of your books.

One blog or many?
Helen Ginger asked: Is it good to have a blog for each book so that you can have each one topic specific? Or do you just drop the old blog and move onto the new one when the new blog comes out?
A blog and/or your own website is a good starting point, but don't feel you have to limit yourself to blogging. Rather than start a blog pertaining to each book you write, create your blog around a topic, theme, or audience that you know you can write many posts about (or for) with numerous angles you can explore. So, if you write crime novels, you could build a blog around forensics and share your research on blood spatter patterns and ballistics. You can then promote each of your crime novels as you launch them, and your readers will already know from your blog posts what level of "CSI" detail they can expect and whether that is the type of book they want to buy.

On the other hand, for one book you may have done a small amount of research into developing film photographs and set up your own amateur dark room as an experiment. You might only have enough research for two or three articles and not consider yourself enough of an expert in photography to justify a blog with that focus (and also the consideration that non-digital photography might not have the wide blog audience reach that you may be after), and the photography angle might be too much of a stretch to include on your forensics themed blog. In such a case, the research and experiments into dark room development would make great Squidoo or HubPages articles. Here you could think of tightly focused articles that provide specific information, for example: the chemicals required for development and how they work, how to set up your own dark room, tips and tricks of development, and amusing anecdotes that illustrate what NOT to do. And, of course, include how you used this research for your novel, as well as a link back to your forensics blog.

Blogs are hard work to establish and maintain. You're better off trying to find some way to link all your books in one blog than creating new blog campaigns for each novel. But content sites are ideal for individual campaigns.

- Writing For Your Online Platform
- Using Web 2.0 Content Sites to Expand Your Platform
- Building an Online Platform to Promote Your Books

Elsa Neal Elsa Neal was one of the early adopters of Squidoo after it came out of Beta and has been actively involved in the community as a Squid Angel and a Top 100 Giant Squid. She has more recently been experimenting with HubPages. She can also be found on her own website or sharing her writing insights at her Fictional Life Blog.

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  1. Thanks for this wise post. I've wondered about the need for more than one blog and it just never made sense to me. Also, maintaining one blog is time-consuming enough. Can't imagine two or more.

  2. Good advice. I agree with you and Karen. One blog is about all I can handle. But I can see putting other information on more static sites or pages. That's an excellent idea.

    Straight From Hel

  3. Thanks for this post. Great information for recently-agented writers, like me, who've just started blogs. And,I'm finding that one blog is more than enough to keep me busy.

  4. Thanks for another good post about promoting. This whole series has been so helpful.

  5. This is a great topic, and I'd like to learn more about it. My two mysteries are both about important social issues - mental illness and the plight of the home-bound elderly. I've been meaning to research topic-specific sites to post on, but haven't yet done so. I won't start a new blog for either topic, though.

    On the other hand, I'm about to start a new WordPress blog for the Memorial Society of the Hudson-Mohawk Region, for which I'm the paid administrator. We're a chapter of the Funeral Consumers Alliance. I'm even going to steal the WordPress theme I use for my own blog, since the misty autumn river scene is perfect for funerals. I don't expect much cross-over, so the duplication shouldn't matter.

    Julie Lomoe's Musings Mysterioso

  6. Thanks, all, for your comments.

    Yes, those two topics are ideal for a few Squidoo or HubPages articles. But another thing you could do is search for blogs on social issues, mental health, elderly issues, and offer to write a guest post for them. That also gets your name out there and backlinks to your own blog or website, or the Memorial Society.

  7. Elle, thanks. You know I'm a big fan of "value-added" information posts and sites. Readers love to get a bit more from the author on their blogs. As to multiple blogs, one always has the option/opportunity of guest blogging on other blogs. In fact, it's a great way to get around, and the other bloggers appreciate a little help and a fresh voice. I'm seeing it more on author blogs, especially group blogs, and love it. Never a dull post this way.


  8. Great article. I am going to give this some thought. I currently write a few different blogs. I started my first blog about my journey to a happier and healthier lifestyle. As you might guess, I discuss many health and fitness topics and I post there about 3-4 times a week.

    However, there were times I wanted to write about other things and started a new blog called Oldman's Cantankerous Point of View which is mostly humorous, though it covers many topics including the kitchen sink.

    Next I began writing Oldman's Inspirational Thoughts which I offer daily inspiration. I enjoy writing this blog because it also helps inspire me in my life as I research the posts and it also requires me to post everyday.

    Then I started writing Oldman's Blurts and Rants which really I started as my secret blog to keep more as a journal. I found all I was doing was complaining about things so I deleted some posts and some content because I felt it was taking away from my positive outlook on life. Now after reading your article I am considering posting these articles on Cantankerous.

    My most recent addition is Oldman's Poetry Corner. I enjoy writing poetry and I had been posting it on my other blogs but I wanted a place to post all of my poems together.

    I would welcome any opinions or suggestions you have. Thanks again for all of your valuable information. Have a nice day.

  9. Brian,
    That's a lot of blogging you have on the go. As long as you feel you can keep up with each of your blogs there's no reason you shouldn't split them according to their content and the tone you're after. If you do have the time and energy to run four different blogs then you can generate valuable backlinks between them whenever you need to do some promotion.

    I agree, guest blogging is becoming very popular and really ties in to the Web 2.0 community feel as opposed to the lone blogger typing into emptiness.


The Blood-Red Pencil is a blog focusing on editing and writing advice. Some of our contributors are editors, some are authors, and some are writing sheep. Yes, sheep.


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