It's never too early to start gathering fans for your writing and your upcoming book. Your friends and family, of course, will be instant fans. I'm not talking about them. I am talking about creating a buzz for your topic with the people who have a natural interest in it.
Here are some ways to get started:
1. Identify your topic and related subjects. For example, if you're a non-fiction writer and writing a book about sea turtles, then that's your topic. Related subjects might be: marine life, oceans, sailing, cruising, beaches, dolphins, whale watching, etc. Make a list of every subject you can think of related to your topic.
If you are writing a novel, do the same. Identify the main topic of your book. It might be as broad as the name of the genre or the theme of the book. Then make a list of subjects related to your book. For example, if you are writing a murder mystery where the murder occurs in a hospital, some of your subjects might be: nurses, emergency room, medical mysteries, etc. Save your list.
2. Create a blog centered on your topic. Tell those who follow your blog about the book you are writing in an occasional post. Don’t use the majority of your posts to push your book however. Instead, use most of your posts to just talk about interesting facets of your topic and its subjects. Your point here is to encourage a conversation about a like-interest and to foster a connection with folks who share your interest. When you're ready to publish your book, they may turn into customers, but for now, you're just creating a connection.
3. Writing and posting your blog entry is not enough. It's important to touch base with people who are interested in your topic. Do this by establishing a Twitter site about your topic and start following people who are interested in your topic and related subjects. If you make your tweets interesting, valuable and entertaining, those people will follow you back. When you post a blog entry, tweet the URL to your followers and tell them what you’ve posted. For example, for this blog entry, I tweeted: Just posted "Marketing your book while you write it" to http://www.loubelcher.com/blog/
4. In addition, join social media groups, such as Facebook, My Space, or ones related to your topic at ning.com to find people who are interested in your topic and subjects.
Watch for part 2: Marketing through on-line newsletters.