Over the past year, I have not been blogging much, though I am vowing - again- to start back up. One thing I have been thinking about is the kind of audience I, eventually, want to cultivate. When I started blogging, it was to connect with the writing crowd, to follow others on their journey to getting published and to share my own. I am still on that journey, but hope eventually to be using social media for self promotion.
This spring, I will again be going to The Muse and the Marketplace conference in Boston. This time, I will not be meeting with an agent. This was a tough decision. I am currently in a query and submission phase and, well, I am hoping by the time of the conference I won't be needing to meet another agent face to face about a query. I am hoping I will be thinking about how to use social media to advertise my book. Of course, that may not end up being the case, but then I can still meet agents. I will be having lunch with a few, plus an editor, plus an author and so I will have opportunity to schmooze. But what I am hoping to do at the conference is find out more about self promotion.
One needs a book published, and readers, of course, in order to blog about the book and the readings and the what-not. But what else can a writer blog about to appeal to readers once they have a book out there? Here are my thoughts (and I am really brainstorming here, and hoping for advice.)
Since my book is fiction, I don't have a specific platform to build on, though my book is very much about place and it is based on a real place. I was thinking maybe video blogs about some of the real spots featured in my novel might be interesting, of course with me talking about their relevance to me and the story.
Also, I think my novel portrays a pretty specific life style. I live in western, Massachusetts and I write about the life styles I see around me. We have a very earthy, organic type environment with a lot of farmer's markets, small farms, and salt of the earth type people. But, we aren't just hicks out here, contrary to what people in those big cities east and west of us might think. I live in the Pioneer Valley and it is actually quite an intellectual community, there being 5 colleges and universities in a thirty mile radius. The area is also steeped in history, some of which I feature in my book. So, back to the blog ideas, I could write posts featuring some of the area flavor and history, especially the elements that fit into my story, but are also a part of my life. For example, our local farmer's market where there is blue grass music and artistry, gorgeous foods and colorful people. I think people who like my book would find that world I take part in, and which provides the values found in my story interesting. Again, the video idea could work with this too, especially for the unique festivals and such.
Talking about writing process isn't probably so interesting to readers, but perhaps something more on the characters and their creation. Who they are beyond the words, where their inspiration came from. I don't know, that one sounds kind of lame.
I am really into the video idea and I think taking video at readings or book signings might be interesting. Maybe even interviewing people who liked the book. Maybe there would be legal issues with that, I don't know. Also of course, time. But I am sure my husband wouldn't mind being my assistant. ;)
My story also features ghosts and witches. Local stories and legends as well as information on those topics, I always find interesting, especially if it is tied to a book I love. I also love old houses, and this is a topic in my book, how could I work that into a blog?
What do you think, fellow writers and readers? What would be interesting to know about a book/author you have enjoyed? What do you like to see on the internet from them? Do you follow or "Like" them on Facebook? On Twitter? What makes for interesting posts and links? If you are a writer, how do you feel about your internet presence? Is it working? Do you make videos? If so, what kind of camera and software are you using?
Disclaimer: I realize I am putting the cart before the horse here, but being a writer, imagination is one of my best attributes and being a teacher, planning my work and working my plan is my motto. So why not think positive and think about the possibilities before I have to put them into action?