Thursday, 26 January 2012
Encouraging your characters to publicise their own books - by Rosalie Warren
Well, why not? I'm a writer - what I do is make things up and write them down. OK, I accept that an author in today's world can't get far without doing at least some of her own publicity. But for me, however much I may enjoy it, publicising and marketing my books will always be a sideline - one I think of as not quite worthy of my best creative energies.
But what if I were to combine the two? That's the thought that struck me a few weeks ago, when I was working on the sequel to my first published novel, Charity's Child (Circaidy Gregory Press, 2008). The main character in the sequel is called Marie-Thérèse, or Marie T, and she is already taking up quite a lot space in my mind, vying for attention with family and friends, as my characters always do.
So why not let her loose? Create an account for her on Twitter and encourage her to tweet (possibly lending her a helping hand to build up her followers by retweeting some of her tweets). Give her a Facebook page of her own (I haven't done that yet, it's on my list, Marie, I promise..) And set her up with a blog of her own, so she can start to tell her story.
You can view Marie's blog at Brought Up By Ghosts
Marie has now made several posts to her blog and I must say I'm a bit surprised. Rather than simply introduce herself, she seems to have started telling her story in instalments online. Not quite what I expected, but hey... that's what characters do. You give them space on a page and they run away from you, becoming much more full, rounded, interesting people than you could ever have imagined before you started to write. That's my experience, anyway (I'm not a planner or, at least, I don't write my plan until I've finished at least one draft). So, rather than fret that Marie has gone off at a tangent, I suppose I should sit back and listen to what she has to say.
What I will do next is anyone's guess. Marie possibly knows - I don't. Perhaps she will tell part of her story, then stop and encourage her followers to buy the rest. Marie's story will almost certainly be released as an eBook, so that's not a problem. Charity's Child is due to be re-released as an eBook, too, later this year. Perhaps I can bundle them together, or give one away free with the other. One thing I'm sure of - I'm not going to plan. I'll follow this process as it develops and I'll keep you posted with news of how it goes.
By the way, I'm sure I'm not the first person to give my character a Twitter identity, a blog, etc. Whether I'm the first person crazy enough to start this before the book is fully written, I don't know. Probably not. Most kinds of madness already exist, somewhere out there. But there's no copyright on ideas like this and if anyone wants to try something similar, I'd love to hear how you get on.
A little more about Marie. She's telling the story of her childhood in a rambling old house on the Brittany coast, where she was brought up by a group of five rather unconventional nuns. The sisters are kindly, on the whole, but very odd. Marie does not question this while she's young - she has lived with them since she was dumped on their doorstep as a baby. Only as time goes on and she starts to meet people from the outside world does she begin to realise quite how strange her family is. A newcomer called Claudine arrives and stirs things up, and Marie is introduced to fear.
I hope you'll take a look at Marie T's blog, which you can find at Brought Up By Ghosts. You can follow her on Twitter at @MarieTGhost. The Twitter link is here.
Marie would love some more comments and followers. I'd also like to know what you think of my idea and whether you've thought of or tried anything similar yourself.
(Please note: Charity's Child and its sequel are intended for age 14+)
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