Some writers just aren’t cut out for regular blogging. In fact they can’t think of something they’d less rather do. Publishers seem to want it though. What to do?
Author and writing educator Susan May Warren has a thought: don’t blog. Instead, have a website with a newsletter signup on the first page. And use plenty of energy out on social media sites drawing people to that website with the goal of signing them up for the newsletter. (You want to recruit the people who will want to buy your books when the time comes, so make it clear what your brand is.)
So how do you get people to sign up? Provide a carrot of value to your target audience, readers. It can change from week to week. Here are some ideas from Susie:
- A downloadable item them might like, which could be as simple as a list of ten things, like ten books for a teenage son, or ten book review blogs for Christians, or a short story.
- A physical item you mail them. How about a book you’ve read, with your markups? Or a book you wish you’d read?
Once you have signups, start sending a brief, one-article monthly newsletter with photo. What do you say? Start with tidbits from your life. You are interesting because you are a novelist.
Supply pictures of you writing on location (at a football game, in your living room, etc.) Your struggles and joys encourage people. They might like a peek at your research notes, or pictures from your research trip. How about stock photos of your characters? An interview with a character? And how did you get a story idea?
In closing the newsletter, be sure to thank the newsletter reader for sticking with you, Susie says.
To keep those readers with you, you could have periodic giveaways. Give away books on your shelf. Ask your readers to send you an address of someone you’d like to send a book to. Send the book, inscribed, “your friend — wanted me to send this to you. Merry Christmas.” And so on. Be generous, and make some good friends.
When the time is right and you have a book to sell them, they’ll think seriously about buying!
Note: for writers wanting to hone their craft and learn marketing, I highly recommend My Book Therapy, the writers’ community run by Susan May Warren and Rachel Hauck, both very successful Christian authors. They have been wonderfully helpful to me. This info came from one of Susie’s regular Thursday night webinars for writers.