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Building up reputation before book

Discussion in 'Marketing' started by Aldarion, Jul 25, 2019.

  1. Aldarion

    Aldarion Minstrel

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    OK, I am currently in my research and worldbuilding stage - since my setting is based on a mix of Byzantine Empire, Holy Roman Empire, Western Roman Empire and Matthias Corvinus' Hungary, there is a lot of research to be done. Plus, I still have some real-life stuff to do. So what I am planning to do is to share some pieces of my research - on military technology, organization, tactics, etc. - on blog, as well as maybe write some short military-history-related posts when I get inspiration. So, is that a good way to build up an audience?

    Also, my initial idea was to write a series of short stories and then publish them as a book. Should I do it, or publish them on blog, or not do it at all?
     
  2. CupofJoe

    CupofJoe Myth Weaver

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    I don't know if it is a good idea to publish your research or not, or if it would build up a following and reputation or not.
    If you want to, then I'd say go for it.
    But it does sound like a lot of work for you before you have a story written.
    As for short stories; people far more learned and familiar with publishing will know if a book of short stories is a good idea or not. I like short stories, especially in compilations from different authors.
     
  3. skip.knox

    skip.knox toujours gai, archie Moderator

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    Write the stories. If you actually have a story--beginning, middle, end--then by all means write it.

    Just because you write it doesn't mean you publish it. You could shop it around to magazines (assuming short story here), or just hold on to it while you write more. Publishing decisions are much clearer *after* you've actually written.
     
  4. Devor

    Devor Fiery Keeper of the Hat Moderator

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    If you want to store your research to publish later, that's probably a good idea. Another good idea would be to submit things through the article team here at Mythic Scribes. In my opinion, until you're near-published, a real blog isn't worth it yet.

    The truth is you get one shot with most viewers, and it's like twenty seconds long. Unless they see friggin' awesome book releasing in three weeks, they probably won't stick around. Instead they'll file you in their brain as "seen this, nothing interesting here," and be less likely to click on you in the future.

    So wait. Focus on your product. Maybe make a few connections, but don't start investing your sweat and stress into marketing right now.

    There's a caveat, however. That's assuming you're running a blog and social media platforms to promote your book. Sometimes people flip that around. Sometimes people write a book to monetize their blog. If you know how to run a blog that will build an audience of that kind of size on all its own, then by all means go for it.
     
  5. Aldarion

    Aldarion Minstrel

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    What I am talking about here is neither. Rather, I am doing a lot of research for my setting (right now, for example, I am researching army logistics). I believe that stuff could be interesting to people who like military fantasy, which is what I am planning on writing, and so publishing bits and pieces of my research (and possibly other stuff, such as commentary on other fantasy settings) could be good way to get readers for the blog. Then, once I actually start writing books, blog - which by then may have good readership, or so I hope - can be used to get people informed about the book.
     
  6. Devor

    Devor Fiery Keeper of the Hat Moderator

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    I'll try to be more clear then. Building an audience for a blog is a difficult, time consuming endeavor. And it won't translate into a lot of book sales because your blog is not your book. Using a blog as a sales page, or a launching platform, is a better approach, but it only works when you have tangible and concrete information about the book, such as your blurb, your bio, your cover, and a publishing date. Sharing research on your book is great. But don't publish it now. Save it and publish it near the release of your book.
     
    Aldarion and CupofJoe like this.
  7. skip.knox

    skip.knox toujours gai, archie Moderator

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    Another thing to consider: in your research on army logistics, did you read other people's blogs on the subject, or did you turn to other sources? Chances are that's what other folks are doing, too.

    I have a whole website for Altearth. Technically that includes a blog, but the blog is just where I update on novel progress. Most of what's there is world building, backstory, history. I put it there for a couple of reasons. One, I've written most of it anyway, so why not share? And two, "most" is not all. Much of what I have is in notes or is fragmented in some way. Putting it on the website forces me to be more orderly and clear, which is worthwhile in itself. I don't do any of this to attract readers. For the most part, the only people who are going to be looking there are already readers. It's for my fanbase of six.

    I also write articles for Mythic Scribes. That's another way to share research information.
     
  8. Aldarion

    Aldarion Minstrel

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    skip.knoxskip.knox I read blogs as well - a good one is here - but primarily I used books, such as "The Byzantine Art of War", "Warfare, State and Society in the Byzantine World" and "Medieval Warfare 1000 - 1300". And few more whose titles I cannot remember right now.

    I have actually written a lot of backstory and worldbuilding - I kinda tend to be obsessive about consistency and internal logic, at least in the stuff I am writing - I do not want to end up with D&Ds teleporting armies or Christopher Paolini's indestructible mechanic horses - so right now I have around 27 articles in different stages of progress. Though large part of the reason for that is that I am already researching Byzantine military for real-life-related reasons, so I figured, why do the research twice? This way, what I am researching for RL helps me with my setting, and vice-versa. I actually got some plot ideas from Byzantine history as well, not just worldbuilding.
     
    Devor likes this.
  9. Danskin

    Danskin Acolyte

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    I'd agree with Devor's advice.

    Background research and world into could potentially be turned into fodder for Patreon or as a reader magnet giveaway in exchange for people signing up to your email list. Blogging sounds like it would be time consuming when you could be focusing on writing a short story or novel that would better introduce your series to readers. Consider, what % of readers would read blogs like that? I, for example, read a lot of fantasy books but do not read blogs about them. It would probably work the other way around for me - if I liked an author, I might look at their site/blog.
     
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