There are mixed opinions about whether blogging is any good for novelists. As Caprice Hokstad noted on my post “Why You Should Be Blogging,” this kind of writing is nonfiction and doesn’t come easily to fiction writers. I myself struggled to blog consistently over at my other blog before I got serious, got a purpose, and started serving writers by producing this blog.
I have no delusions that my efforts here or there will help me promote my novels when they’re released.
Nevertheless, some novelists do make a go of blogging, usually by writing about topics or themes that occur in their books. Articles about the kinds of things their target readers would be interested in. So if blogging suits you, here are some novelist blogs you can look to for inspiration.
Lynn Coleman writes historical fiction and blogs about her research at 19th Century Historical Tidbits. The same kind of readers who enjoy reading books with 19th-century settings will also enjoy reading the recipes, fashion plates, and magazine articles from the period that Coleman shares.
David Brin, a science fiction writer, blogs about science and society. He spotlights other writers’ books and isn’t afraid to go off on a political rant. Here is a writer focused on serving his target readers and not trying to please everyone.
Angela Hunt pulls of the rare feat of writing both fiction and nonfiction in multiple genres, so she has a diverse blog.
Wanda Brunstetter, by contrast, has a blog tightly focused on the subject of her novels—Amish culture.
Danielle Steel blogs in a way that makes each post seem like a letter to her readers. She blogs about fashion and other topics that appeal to her readership.
Brandon Sanderson, who writes epic fantasy, tends to blog about his work, including promoting the writing podcast he’s part of, but he also covers news relating to the genre and promotes other authors’ books.
For more ideas, listen to the Novel Marketing Podcast episode “What Should Novelists Blog About?”
If blogging’s not for you, don’t bother
Having started this discussion with an affirmation of blogging, I will nevertheless close it by admitting that you don’t have to blog. Plenty of writers succeed without a blog. You should still have a website, though, so people can find you online. If you can stock that website with a few articles related to the themes and topics in your fiction, so much the better. C.J. Lyons, who writes medical thrillers, has a website with a small collection of related articles. You need a web presence, but that presence doesn’t have to include a blog.
UPDATE: Joanna Penn of The Creative Penn posted a blog the same day as this one on the same topic, and she has some excellent observations about what your author website should contain. She, too, advises against blogging if your heart’s not in it:
If you have to ask what to blog about, then probably don’t bother. It’s only worth doing if you just can’t help but share what you’re passionate about.—Joanna Penn