Thursday, December 10, 2009

How to Write Blog Posts When You are Blogging to Market a Novel

The Net is full of fascinating people, and one of them is Phyllis Zimbler Miller. Please welcome back Phyllis Z. Miller, marketing expert and author of Mrs. Lieutenant. 

How to Write Blog Posts When You are Blogging to Market a Novel  

Publishing a non-fiction book will usually make it easy for you to write a blog dedicated to your book.  The non-fiction subject of your book and related topics can provide ample blogging material.

For example, if you wrote a book on cooking low-fat diets, you could post one low-fat recipe a day along with insider tips to ensure the recipe turns out well.  Or if you wrote a book on new social media platforms, you could write each post about one new social media platform and probably never run out of new posts.

The problem of writing ongoing book blog posts really presents itself to fiction writers.  If you’ve written a romance novel or a mystery novel, what are you going to write about in your blog posts?

With a little imagination (and you are a fiction writer, aren’t you?) you can come up with interesting posts for your book’s blog.  Let’s look at some examples:

You write a novel that takes place in 1970 during the Vietnam War.   Because the Vietnam War plays an important role in the novel, you could write posts about historical events that took place during that era or historical events that led to that era.  And you could write about the military today fighting in Iraq or Afghanistan and about military families back home.  There’s no need to mention your book in every post; the overall context of the blog is about your book.

Now let’s stretch our imagination farther.  You write a mystery novel about a series of medical-related murders.  You could write posts about deaths that were not murders but were actual medical mysteries.  You could also write posts about new hospital procedures that are being implemented to reduce medical-related deaths.  And you could write posts telling the family of hospital patients what to look for in suspected medical malpractice.

What if you’ve written a children’s picture book about family members learning to get along?  Children are not going to read your blog and their parents aren’t going to read your blog aloud to their children.  You could write posts about parent-child issues; if you’re not an expert, you can quote other experts.  You could review other children’s picture books on similar topics.   You could write posts about children’s literacy issues.

The truth is that you can cast your imagination net far and wide for subjects on which to blog.  Just remember that every few posts you should mention your book in connection with that post.  For example, if you were writing a post about children’s literacy issues, you could mention that a specific second-grader in your book could read long words but not short words and that her teacher suspected dyslexia.

Or you could quote an entire (short) scene from your novel to illustrate a point you’re making.  And, yes, it’s okay that people reading your blog may not know who the characters and situation are.  If you choose an appropriate scene, most readers will be able to understand the context of the excerpt.

Fiction authors should be as active as non-fiction authors in the use of blogs to market books.  Give your blog readers interesting and well-written posts, and they will read your blog and hopefully buy your book.

Phyllis Zimbler Miller (@ZimblerMiller on Twitter) has an M.B.A. from The Wharton School and is an Internet business consultant whose company website has lots more useful advice like this.  Information about her novel MRS. LIEUTENANT is available at and you can download her free report on “Power Marketing’s Top 3 Internet Marketing Tips” at .  You can also download a free report on fiction blogging written with author Carolyn Howard-Johnson at


  1. This is such simple, logical advise. How come it never occurred to me to do this? Hmm.

    Thanks, Phyllis. Great post.

  2. sbaxter505@gmail.comDecember 10, 2009 at 8:20 AM

    Thanks for the ideas, Phyllis. I'm trying this today. In fact, you've given me so many great ideas that I'll have enough blogs for the next month.

  3. Lots of good ideas to keep in mind, especially for those who don't like to directly promote their books in every blog post. That can get tiresome. Thanks, Phyllis and Joylene.

  4. Great ideas. Funny how my imagination has never seemed to come to life re. blogs - but you've offered suggestions that might just strike the essential spark. Thanks!

  5. Sam, Carol and Meg, thanks for stopping by. I love these guest blogs; I learn something every time.

  6. Sam, Carol and Meg --

    And I appreciate these comments. I think we writers sometimes get stuck in our writer mindset and find it hard to switch to our marketing mindset. But we want people to read what we write!


  7. Really great ideas. Phyllis...Glad I dropped in...

  8. I'm glad you dropped in, too, Laura. You're in a beautiful part of the country, not far from our son. He's stationed in Gagetown, NB. Thanks for dropping by. Have a wonderful Christmas.


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