I think that once you get it in your head that you want to publish, you need to start building an audience. After all, when you publish, your story or book or whatever it may be is going to be read by people, and if those people aren’t already present before your book, it is going to be very difficult to make sales.
I mention this because I think building your own website and blog is absolutely essential to capturing the type of audience that you want. If you have time to write a novel, you have time to do a blog post, even if it is just once a week starting out. As writers going the publishing route, we want to make sales, don’t we? We want our work out there for readers to enjoy, but if we didn’t want sales, we would just throw up chapters for free without ever officially publishing them–and there is nothing wrong with this route, but this post is not addressing those people.
Before you even start writing that book, I would go on ahead and set up some form of website. It can be Blogger, WordPress, Weebly–it doesn’t matter. Have some form of website with tabs you can create that viewers can search to learn what you’re all about.
I wanted to self-publish my book in December, so I started this puppy almost three weeks ago to give myself that time to build an audience. I was originally blogging once a day, but then realized twice a day might help me build more of an audience. And it does. Plus, it’s even more imperative I keep up with this knowing my book might be a late summer release now that it is with a publisher. So I’ve got to work my butt off in the social media arena to build an audience invested in both me and my book–and I need to be just as invested in my audience as they are with me.
Don’t wait until after your book is released to build an audience. If you’re self-publishing, this might be okay because your book can stay there forever. But any other type of publication, and you’re going to sink in the sells department.
I want my Stars to know about me and my book before it is released. I want them to know who I am, what I do, what I love, hate, my strengths, my weaknesses. I want them to know all about me. I want to know all about them. I love people, and I want them to know that, not just for sales of my book, but because I want to be an inspiration.
In any case, if you’re already blogging with the plans to do a novel, do not stop. Even if you have to slow your blogging down and you already have an audience, do not stop. You don’t want to lose your audience. I have over 900 followers on Twitter, but because I stayed away from Twitter for almost a year due to health reasons, I never received any new followers and I had to work myself back into Twitter to remind everyone of my existence. And it’s not easy.
So build that audience and keep that audience.