One aspect of the changing environment for writers, which has been little discussed, is the idea of extending our stories online with the help of social media, blogs and web sites. Social media and the online world are parts of the new wave of online communications, which is dominating the lives of billions, with its instant tribal culture, its visual cortex stimulating ability and its snappy story-telling pull.
The challenge for writers in the 21st century, in my opinion, will be how to integrate these tools into our story telling.
I propose to take this challenge for my new novel, The Nuremberg Puzzle, to be indie published November this year. My previous three novels were published by Harper Collins, worldwide. Here’s what I will be doing to extend this new novel, the hardest puzzle I have had to crack:
1. Using a hash tag #thenurembergpuzzle on Twitter, Facebook etc. to share links to images, videos and posts related to the story.
2. These images and posts, on Pinterest/my blogs/YouTube etc. and on guest posts on other blogs, will aim to add both fictional and non fiction elements to the story. For example; I will be blogging about my WW2 reading list, posting maps and pics from research trips and blogging on all matters of historical and present day interest on racism in Germany, which I hope will add depth to the story. A fictional account of the visit by A Hitler to Sacré-Cœur, and who he met there, will be one post.
3. An online map, linked to social media, will allow readers to see locations for the story.
4. Conversations, via comments on the blogs and through Twitter and Facebook mainly, will ask questions, answer questions, and explore the story in the book.
5. A series of coordinated guest blog posts about the novel, on, hopefully, 50 blogger’s sites around the world, will introduce the novel to readers worldwide in the run up to the launch.
6. Book giveaways on Goodreads and blogs will also, hopefully add excitement.
7. Posts on online subject-specific groups on Facebook and forums, about Nuremberg, and the unpunished crimes of WW2, will help to engage potential readers interest in these issues.
The launch will be a good test on whether extending a story online helps readers, the way a good cover and reviews did fifteen years ago.