Best Practices for Novel Magic Guest Posts
How to make your Novel Magic Post Magically Delicious
Every Monday, I feature a guest author who wants to promote a book. I call these little spots Novel Magic, and I ask the authors to write a short post to go with the promo. They write on topics related to their books—which are in genres I love—and I’ve been awed by the variety and skill of the writers who become my guests. I’ve also noted missed opportunities.
Since I’ll be on the guest post circuit in the not-so-distant future, I’m already looking for ways to make my posts do what I want them to do which is attract new readers. With that in mind, I’ve made a list of best practices. A few points are peculiar to Sorchia’s Universe, but most apply to any guest post.
Think about the guest posts you’ve read. What makes you read to the end and what makes you say, “eh, not today,” and scroll on?
Use your guest post—whether it be a Novel Magic post in Sorchia’s Universe or a post on another site—as an intro to a new group of potential buyers. The idea is to lure them to your website or buy links. Once the post is live, you’ll want to promote it and I’m going to share ideas about that next week. But first you must write an engaging post.
So what makes a post engaging? Well, here in Sorchia’s Universe, we ask for specific things. This year, Sorchia’s Universe focuses on building readership and focusing on the niche readers we love. I don’t mind if you recycle your content on other sites—time is money, after all—but do focus your content on the niche audience I serve.
- A Snazzy Title
Treat it like a short story and give it an intriguing title that I can promote!
- Appropriate Choice of Topic
We specialize in the weird, the spooky, the extraordinary, the mysterious, and the macabre. We cater to connoisseurs of conjury, devotees of divination, aficionados of alchemy, those who admire and a few who practice magic. Please relate your post to something along these lines.
Magic in any form is welcome.
The folklore behind your tale, the mythology related to your story, the dark roots of your plot—all great blog post fodder.
Let readers in on something dishy about your book. What did you find in your research that changed everything? Why did you choose the location for your story? Are any of the characters based on people you know or wish you didn’t? Is there a theme in the story you want people to appreciate?
Real life experiences are unique—you can share something that nobody else can. Tell us about a haunted B&B you stayed at, a childhood fear, your experience as a coven leader, or the time you barely escaped being the tossed in a volcano by a roving band of shamans. Seriously, we’d love to read any appropriate experience you are comfortable sharing.
- Ask for Engagement
Somewhere in your post—the beginning and again at the end– ask for comments from readers. Be specific. “Have you ever met a ghost? Do tell!” or “What’s the scariest movie you’ve ever seen?” I’ll highlight this in the post and do my best to get responses.
Tell a joke. Set up a humorous situation. Use a quirky turn of phrase. Include an outrageous meme. Dark humor, puns, whatever floats your boat will float ours too.
Include your book cover, of course, and an author pic. Also give us eye candy—the room at the haunted B&B your post is about–A picture of the monster who lurks in the shadows in your book. If you were casting the movie version, give us a pic of the beefcake or cheesecake you’d pick for the love interest if that goes with the content of your post.
- A note on profanity
Go for it if it fits your topic. Words are words and cursing can be an art form. My audience doesn’t mind blue words or remarks just like we don’t mind purple prose.
- A note on triggers
If you write about serious topics such as rape or graphic violence, please do provide a little warning. I’ve been guilty of trotting right into the middle of this kind of thing with gay disregard for anything but the joke or comment I want to make. I’ve felt remorse later when I realize I’ve upset someone because I was needlessly insensitive. Just a word of warning at the top of your post or excerpt is sufficient. Having said that, I don’t expect everyone to walk on eggshells. We are big girls and boys and are perfectly capable of scrolling on if we encounter something that gives us the creepy-crawlies to the point of distraction.
‘Nuff said. Well, let me add the words Chicago Manual of Style, and let it go at that. Oh, and Websters Dictionary.
Additions? What quasi-rule would you add to the Big Book of Guest Posting Do’s and Don’ts?
My dreams for Novel Magic posts are that they will give my guest authors an enjoyable and effective alternative for promoting their books, give readers a laugh or an eye-opener, and give me interesting content to pimp out to all and sundry.
Tune in next week and we’ll talk about how to spread the word about your Novel Magic post (or any guest post.)