Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Writing 101: Use Current Events to Promote Your Books

How long ago did you start talking more about "Divergent" than "Twilight?" The world moves fast and things fade away quickly. Don't let it happen to your book. Use current events to your advantage by using them to promote your book. 

What's Goin' On?

Books don't have a shelf life. We know it's true because schools still assign "The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn," and that story is dated. But you can keep your book feeling a bit fresher if you find ways to link it to current events. Do it well, and you can keep regular sales coming in for your work.

The Internet changes every single day. Old stories go away and new ones are put up. If you can do something similar for your book, and constantly re-invent it, you can keep the story feeling new.

  • Finding your audience: What hobbies and interests does your main character have? Mention it, and link it to current stories. If your character is athletic, for example, you might write a tweet that says "It's always football season in Cara Heart's neighborhood." Now I'm browsing Twitter, and I like football, too. I want to know more about Cara Heart, and that's how it works.
  • Pay attention to headlines: What's going on in the world? It only takes a few minutes to find out, and it might give you some great ideas. Say there's a tornado coming. Write a blog post about tornadoes in books, prominently featuring your own story of course (and probably "The Wizard of Oz," too). People looking for information about tornadoes might newly discover your blog, and now you're building your audience.
  • See what's trending: Be mindful of the stuff that's trending on Twitter, even the silly stuff, and constantly look for ways to link it to your book. Use the hashtags that people are using, and always include a link!

Be aware of what's going on and what people are talking about. Start talking about the same thing, but talk about how it relates to your book. That will keep your story fresh, and help drive new interest your way.

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