To Blog or Not to Blog My Novel
I have been going back and forth trying to decide whether or not to publish my fiction book titled My Stolen Diaries, traditionally, independently, or chapter by chapter through my blog The Teri Tome.
For several weeks I have been thinking about how the process of organizing and arranging the chapters would come together while researching examples of formats other bloggers have used to post their books online.
So far, I haven’t found any articles that explain in detail or show actual examples of how blogged books are laid out.
I’m guessing I couldn’t find explicit samplings of how to blog a novel because writers either aren’t blogging their novels, or they haven’t found a functional fiction format.
I did find a few articles about how to blog a nonfiction single-topic book.
But in my opinion, the process of blogging a book lends itself well to nonfiction vs. fiction.
Additionally, all of the articles I found regarding how to blog a single-topic, non-fiction book suggest that to blog a book, a separate blog needs to be created to support the effort.
But my blog The Teri Tome gets over 30,000 page views a month, so why would I want to start all over with a brand new blog that nobody has ever seen or heard of?
I don’t want to create a blog called My Stolen Diaries. What I want to do is blog my novel My Stolen Diaries within my existing blog, The Teri Tome.
The question is: how to blog my novel within a blog?
An actual novel moves methodically page by page through the storyline allowing the reader to pick up where they left off, so blogging my novel is going to be challenging.
What I hope to do is to cohesively blog my novel and weave it all together post by post or chapter by chapter to tell the story in a way my readers can keep up with it, without having to search around for the beginning, middle and end.
And the last thing I want my reader to do is to get to the end of the book before the beginning. Nobody wants to be the victim of a spoiler, and I would totally never want to be that person.
Since I found nothing to guide me as to how to blog my novel, I decided to make my best effort to test out some formats and see what sticks.
While I didn’t find any articles that showed me how to blog a novel, I did find some generally useful articles, although I disagreed with many of them:
- A blog should have 10-15 categories. [My blog has a hefty 21 categories before I even add My Stolen Diaries so sue me.]
- A new blogger should post often if they want to bring significant traffic to their blog (At least three times per week – each post approximately 300 words long, until they reach a minimum of 1,000 posts). [I never post that often, I still don’t have 1,000 total posts and as I stated earlier, I enjoy over 30,000 page views a month. So there.]
- A dedicated and seasoned blogger should blog their book daily – each post approximately 500 words long). [Blogging a chapter a day of my novel seems highly unlikely, and as the queen of verbiage I need to write way more than 500 words per post. BTW, this blog post is over 1,600 words! And I would consider myself both dedicated and seasoned. So, as they say in my neck of the woods: fuggedaboutit.]
- The importance of writing an “Elevator Pitch” for your blogged book in fifty words or less. [Click here for the article I wrote about the grueling process I went through to come up with a 25-word book pitch for Our Romantic Getaway, although I have yet to use it in an elevator.]
- How to market your blogged book and requesting reviews. [Click here for the article I penned about book marketing and requesting reviews. That was before I realized that it was an all-consuming job. And please don’t judge me, but after umpteen hours of marketing and requesting, I gave up on my own advice. My bad.]
- How to create a book flyer. [Here is my post about creating book marketing flyers. As the late great Yul Brynner aka Pharaoh once said: So let it be written; let it be done. And okay, after a gazillion hours of mailing out flyers, I gave up on that too. Sorry not sorry.]
- How and who to hire for search engine optimization (SEO). [Now I have to worry about SEO? Who the heck has time to write? But okay I went on the website Fiverr, and I’m working on that.]
- How to add your blog to a blog directory. [The directory most recommended was Blogarama.com, which boasts millions of visitors, so I happily submitted my blog. There is a free and paid part to their site. Since signing up for the free section, I receive regular emails from them, letting me know that they have been indexing my blog posts. But try as I might, I never found any of the supposed indexed posts, so good luck with that.]
- The best format for creating an About the Author section is to write your achievements, expertise, and experience in the third person. [I originally wrote my About page in the first person, so I changed it up. Click here for everything you wanted to know about Teri (or not) but never asked or cared to ask. Oh, and speaking of asking; if you wanted to ask but thought better of it, NO my novel Our Romantic Getaway is NOT about me, and YES I am wearing a top in my author photo.]
- How to set up Google alerts so you can track your business, yourself, or any other kind of stuff. [I went on Google Alerts and added my websites, my name, blog to novel deals, how to blog a novel, worldpress.org, The Teri Tome, and terischure.com. FYI: My g-mail account is now inundated with useless alerts, but don’t go by me.]
- Understanding Web traffic. [Quick and easy: Concentrate on your Monthly Page Views, Visits, and Unique Users.]
Back in 2014, I published my first novel titled Our Romantic Getaway, and while it makes some money, it’s a pittance compared to the number of hours over the five long years I spent writing it.
In 2019, I was finally able to finish and publish my children’s book titled The Day It Snowed Popcorn, which I wrote back in 1970 at seventeen. It has already won an award and I am very excited about its future.
And…I have the beginnings of a cookbook sitting on the back burner. [Pun intended.]
But My Stolen Diaries has always been the bucket-novel I’ve dreamed nonstop of publishing.
Plus, My Stolen Diaries seems like the perfect novel-on-a-blog project, mainly because of its diary format.
So, after much thought, I decided my novel-on-a-blog should be called a Novelog.
I started writing My Stolen Diaries back in the 1990s. So far, I have 168 pages and 117,653 words.
If I assume that each average post will be 1,500 words in length, I need to write at least 78 blog posts for My Stolen Diaries.
Now I recognize, that’s a ton of posts/chapters, so here’s the dilemma:
How do I present the posts/chapters in a way that readers can easily catch up with the earlier posts/chapters they may have missed?
And will anyone take the time to slog through 78+ posts/chapters?
After racking my brain, trying to figure out what to call each post: Chapters, Episodes, Scenes, Events, Entries…
I decided to keep it simple and just go with Chapters.
What have I got to lose?
What harm could it do to post some of my novel chapters into cyberspace and then analyze the traffic?
Worse case, I’ll post a few chapters of My Stolen Diaries and give up if I see that the Page Views and Visits don’t warrant my time.
Plus, what better way to test-market my dream book than sharing it with my readers?
And since my novel is only partially written, it won’t be like I’m giving the entire store (in this case, story) away.
Note to my readers: Your opinion about My Stolen Diaries will help me to determine whether or not to keep on keeping on, so I welcome your thoughts and suggestions. Okay, let’s be honest, I NEED your thoughts and suggestions, so please help me out by commenting?
And now tada! Click here to read my novelog My Stolen Diaries.