By Sarah Hamaker, reluctant marketer

Last month, we talked about how writing articles can be a fantastic marketing tool and platform booster. Today, we’ll tackle how to figure out what to write about for both fiction and nonfiction authors.

No matter what genre you write in, you are an expert on something, and the trick is to turn that something into fodder for articles. Let’s go through a few genres to flesh this out.

Contemporary romance. Chances are, your hero or heroine tackle some pretty big social, cultural or spiritual issues. Figure out the dominate theme in each of your books and you’ll have topics you can turn into articles or blog posts. For example, if your heroine has a large family pushing her toward marriage, perhaps you can write about how to handle family pressure.

Historical. If you write anything historical, you are probably already aware of blogs and other publications dedicated to your particular era, country or time period. Put all that research to good use by repurposing it to write pieces that talk about little-known events or people or places.

Science fiction. Think about what your books focus on—for example, new planets, inventions, space travel, invented languages, space culture—and use those topics to jumpstart ideas for either the general or Sci-Fi audience.

Image courtesy of Stuart Miles/

Image courtesy of Stuart Miles/

This might seem easier than fiction, but nonfiction writers have usually said what they wanted to in their books. Short excerpts are generally okay, but fresh material is best. Here are some ways to not totally re-invent the wheel when it comes to nonfiction works.

Use the leftovers. Do you have extra research, portions of unused interviews or other material that ended up not included in your book? Then use those as a starting point for articles or blogs.

Find the side roads. If you’re anything like me, you get distracted by interesting but not relevant information when delving into a topic. Now’s the time to explore those avenues through articles.

Explore new ideas. As I mentioned in my last blog, the original impetus for writing my book on sibling rivalry came from an article on the same topic. Use writing for other publications or blogs as a way to flesh out new thoughts or subjects.

No matter if you write fiction or nonfiction, you have tons of article topics just waiting for you! Next month, I’ll talk about how to find outlets for these pieces.


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