Picture your favorite character. What would you ask him or her if you could? Is there something he or she didn’t reveal that you’ve always wanted to know? Now, imagine getting an email every week that invites you into that character’s thoughts. Wouldn’t it make the character seem even more real to you?
After I published my novel, Freeing Colt, I created an ezine that delves into my main character, Colt’s, thoughts through journal entries. Colt’s a songwriter and guitar player. Creative folks need multiple outlets. So, I decided it only made sense to have him keep a journal. I’ve been publishing my ezine, “Your Weekly Dose of Hope and Healing,” for two months, and I’ve gotten several subscribers! It’s a way to keep my readers engaged, and keep their interest up.
So, how do you create an ezine, and promote it, using your protagonist’s journal? Here’s how I do it.
HAVE YOUR CHARACTER RESPOND TO CURRENT EVENTS
Colt lives in Nashville. All the clubs closed during the COVID-19 lockdown. Colt wrote how creepy it felt to see Lower Broadway dark when it’s usually blazing with colored lights. He works at a café. Business dropped dramatically. He had to move out of his rented house because his roommate, Brandon, lost his job at a sit-down restaurant in town. See what I’m doing? I’m showing my readers Colt isn’t stuck on the last page of my novel. He’s struggling right alongside the rest of us.
LET HIM POUR HIS HEART OUT
If you journal, you know the relief of having a place to unleash your emotions without fear of discovery. Colt’s journal serves the same purpose for him, and gives readers the chance to connect with his unfiltered thoughts. It also keeps him in their minds long after they’ve finished reading my novel or ezine.
Over Mother’s Day weekend, Colt reflected on making breakfast for his mom the last Mother’s Day of her life. Here’s an excerpt: She stroked the dandelions with the tip of her pointer finger, and said — I’ll never forget it — “I’ve never seen prettier flowers or had a better breakfast, my precious boy. Thank you for giving me the best Mother’s Day ever.” Scrambled eggs and dandelions? Sure, that isn’t very extravagant. But, that’s how she was. She could see the magic in anything–she saw the love.
Did Colt or his mom stir your emotions? I thought so!
CREATE NEW STORY LINES
Let him share crucial developments in his relationships with characters from your book. Create new conflicts, and let him decide how to approach these. Let his or her story continue, even though the book’s finished. It’ll make your readers anticipate a sequel, too.
ASK READERS TO SUBSCRIBE
I’ve asked everyone who bought my book from me in person, and who commented on it on my Facebook page, or emailed me, if they’d like to subscribe. I’ve used Bcc emails and Facebook Messenger to communicate. Both work well.
Remember: As a reader, you’ve connected with characters that still feel real to you. The more engaged you keep your readers, the more alive your character will seem, and the hungrier they’ll be to keep in touch. So, make sure they get an email from him or her every week through your ezine.
And, of course, when your sequel or next novel is ready, you’ll have a list of anxious readers waiting to buy it!
LEARN MANY MORE CREATIVE WAYS TO PROMOTE YOUR BOOK(S) IN 90+ Days of Promoting Your Book Online.
- “Surprise-Releasing” Books Nets Me More Sales Than Pre-Order Books – by K.M. Robinson
- Eight More Ways to Market your Imagination! By Donna Kordela
- How Do I Get More Subscribers For My Ezine?
- Does Facebook Trump Ezines for Book Promotion? No!
- TANTALIZING SUBJECT LINES! How to Make Almost Anyone Open and Read Your Email/Blog/Article
Christy Lindsay is the author of the newly-released novel Freeing Colt, published by BookLocker.com. Her writing credits include a column in her local weekly paper, Community News, “Blissfully Blended: 365 Devotional Readings for Stepmoms,” and christiandevotions.us. Connect with Christy (and Colt, too!) at christylindsayauthor.com.
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