I often receive the following question at conferences and via e-mail and blog comments:
It seems easier for nonfiction writers to offer free content through their blogs (e.g. how-to tips). Could you share tips on how fiction writers can make that work?
There are many ways to approach this, which ought to be guided by your own interests, strengths, and eccentricities, but here are a few things to think about.
- Serialize your work—which can be done in many mediums, not just a blog. Scott Sigler and Seth Harwood are the most well-known models when it comes to audio serialization.
- Share interesting information or thoughts related to research or themes in your work. Writers, by their very nature, usually read, observe, and discuss some very fascinating topics. You can blog about these things.
- Be creative in how you present information related to yourself or your characters. For example, YA author Megan McCafferty started a blog based on her own diaries from when she was a teenager. She calls it the (retro)blog. Another YA author, John Green, has a YouTube video series that's wildly popular (but not necessarily about his fiction work).
- Write book reviews or do interviews with other writers about their work, the writing process, etc.
- Partner with other authors for a group blog. Here's an example of a good one: The Whine Sisters
I'm sure I don't have the best list, though—I'm always searching for novelists as well as aspiring writers who are doing something interesting online.
What novelists or aspiring fiction writer blogs do you follow? Have you seen anyone with a ground-breaking strategy? Who would you like to see interviewed here on their blogging strategy?
Good resource on the big-picture
Get Known Before the Book Deal by Christina Katz offers a chapter on how fiction writers can build platform.
Also see my post: Fiction Writers Need Platforms, Too