By Jennifer Lovett Herbranson
National Novel Writing Month is right around the corner, and I’m going to talk to you about marketing while you’re writing. I know what you’re thinking: Are you nuts?
Writing 1667 words a day every day for 30 days is daunting enough, and now I’m asking you to think about marketing while you’re doing it. Why yes, I am.
Wait! Hang in there!
What’s awesome about NaNoWriMo is the flood of ideas that rush in your head while you’re furiously writing your book. A lot of those ideas won’t make it in the book, so I want you to write them down.
Because writing down any ideas you have while you’re in the midst of this windstorm of fiction will give you exactly what you need to focus your marketing later.
Marketing is simply finding a way to reach readers. That’s it. In order to do that, you need content. Anything you have in a story can be used for your author brand. Drink the Koolaid because no matter if you traditionally publish or go indie, you’ll be doing the bulk of your marketing.
Writer’s Digest hosted a panel at their annual conference in August with publicists from Hachette and Penguin Random House, and right up front, the moderator said, “All authors should have a fundamental understanding of marketing.”
I’m not going to get into an explanation of the fundamentals of marketing right now. I’ll have a post on that after the maelstrom of NaNo is over. In the meantime, I just want you to be prepared and ready to go.
So, after you’re done writing for the day, take three minutes and make a quick note. What burst in your brain today about these characters and the story? Think about it like a book bible. Simply write down the pieces.
Use the list below to help you.
- Character names
- Character jobs or careers
- Character hobbies or interests
- Histories of the town or the people
- Minor characters your MC came in contact with..their jobs and hobbies
- Restaurants that appeared in the story
- Businesses that appeared in the story
Not only will this list help you organize your thoughts about the story, it gives you tons of fodder to develop a marketing plan in December. I’ll walk you through it. Until then, simply take notes.
Jennifer Lovett is the founder of Writer Nation, a podcast and Facebook group dedicated to helping writers market their work. With 17 years communications experience, she regularly writes on social media, internet marketing and face-to-face publicity.
You can find her on her Website, Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest: @jennylovett