There is much more to your book than just its subject or plot. Your book is a universe, a library of content ideas, which you could write about in your blog (if you have one or if you don’t have an author website yet, create one today). As an author, it isn’t your job to only entertain readers with a good story, but also to introduce them to the themes, topics or other ‘building blocks’ that make up your book or activities that impact your writing process.
This is what blogging means for authors: a 2-in-1 opportunity to get your book and yourself in front of more people. An author who maintains a blog knows the writing never stops even after the publication of his book. He knows he should regularly publish new content on his blog because it helps drive more traffic to his author website and/or Amazon Author Central page and generate more publicity for himself and his book. But he also knows he can’t just publish anything and everything just to have new content on his blog.
So what should you blog about? What else but the content of your book. If you wrote a children’s book with friendship as its primary theme, you probably don’t want to blog about your pets. Writing about your pets won’t help children make friends, and it won’t help sell your book. Your blog post should support the content of your book, be it be fiction or nonfiction.
Fiction and nonfiction approach to blogging
Fiction and nonfiction authors will differ in their approach to blogging. For fiction authors, they can’t prove themselves to be experts of their genres, but at least promote themselves as master storytellers or creative writers. As a fiction author, you could blog about the characters in your novel, how you choose the story’s setting, how you come up with the plot and subplot, or what research you have done. These topics are geared towards your readers.
Fiction authors do not only blog for their readers but also for other writers. A fiction author could also blog about their writing process, how they deal with writer’s block, what workshops they attend to improve their skills, what authors inspire them to write fiction, and other topics that deal with writing or are geared towards other writers. In this approach, fiction authors prove themselves to be highly skilled and committed writers and voracious readers.
The nonfiction author’s approach to blogging is less difficult than that of a fiction author. Blogging lends itself perfectly to nonfiction because it helps the author build his reputation as an expert in his field. Blogging proves to be a two-way street: Nonfiction authors provide readers with free content, and in turn readers ask authors questions and get them to consider subjects within their expertise that they might not have covered in their recent book(s).
Do nonfiction authors blog for other authors? Yes, they do too. Nonfiction authors are always on the lookout for what their colleagues publish and advocate, whether online or offline. Topics that concern nonfiction authors could fuel discussion (and debate) between them and within and outside their following.
Fiction and nonfiction authors should blog to connect with their readers and fellow writers to share not only their best practices, experiences, and thoughts but also their vision beyond the publication of their book.