A Fictional Serial Killer Starts a Blog… Then What?

personabookmarketingI forget what I was Googling, but I found a very unique press release that caught my eye: “Serial Killer Starts Blog Ahead of 2MCH4YA Book Completion.” Yes, a serial killer featured in the upcoming novel, “taRNished,” now has a blog.

The blog is an example of what I’ve been thinking about a lot when it comes to book marketing: the power of personas. The only thing I wonder is… is this really going to work?

The power of persona marketing

Persona marketing isn’t new. I’ve heard tales of TV characters who have penned actual, real books and sold them on the backs of their fictional, TV prestige. But the internet, and especially Facebook, has amplified the potential for personas.

You could try marketing a book by starting a Facebook Page about a fictional character or a Facebook Group about a fictional organization. On the off-chance that you’re an author who knows how to market on Facebook in the first place.

You could also elect to do what the author of taRNished, Willie Stewart, is trying to do: create a blog for your characters to express themselves. It’s a good idea. It’s a cool idea.

But is this going to work? Is this going to be worth it?

When artists become their own industries

A lot of artists who choose to use the Internet to claim their fame have had to become their own self-marketers. Authors who self-publish have had to figure out how to start marketing their own books to break through the noise. Because, in a virtual world of virtual noise, your only choice is to make your own noise.

Stewart is taking some big risks. More than that, he’s making a lot of work for himself.

That’s what I’m concerned about: at the end of the day, I think that there’s a serious chance that writers with these great marketing ideas could exhaust themselves in the act of promotion, for little to show for it.

The alternative, of course, is even worse: doing nothing to promote the book and selling no books.

Stewart will have to gauge the blog’s success not just by blog views, but by people that end up buying the book after it comes out.

First, he’ll have to start a blog that people want to read. That’s pretty hard in itself. He will also always have to find new content to write about, from the perspective of a serial killer.

Then, there are the technical entries. What if the killer dies at the end of the book? Will the blog serve as some kind of prequel diary? Will it keep going as the serial killer goes on a rampage that lasts for eight books? Or will it simply end its life as a promotional channel and start collecting dust?

The big challenge

Meanwhile, he’ll have to actually finish taRNished.

The fact is that if you want to self-publish a book, you have to do a whole lot more writing and creating than just write the book. You have to be prepared for the monumental task of marketing and prepare yourself for the very good chance that you won’t become a millionaire – or even a multi-thousandaire – for your efforts.

Becoming your own industry is tiring. That’s why agents and publishers exist. I worry sometimes that, as we reflect on the future of books, we forget that the oft-maligned “middleman” performs a very important role: helping writers focus their energies on books instead of marketing.

Photo Credit: gilles chiroleu via Compfight cc

3 thoughts on “A Fictional Serial Killer Starts a Blog… Then What?

  1. Thank you so much for noticing my efforts. Anyone that knows me can attest to the fact that this Marine does not sleep or tire easily. I am in uncharted waters but all you can do is swim to survive. I have a complete master plan that I can not reveal openly here but I WILL NOT stop until I AM A SUCCESS IN THIS EFFORT. One week ago I had no internet presence whatsoever. Today through my efforts ,my keywords tarnished novel have put me in the top ten of 800 thousand plus others. It is a long road but i am just disciplined and crazy enough to make it work. I am a Registered Nurse by trade. An expert in my field. My topic is relevant to events and issues of now and the near and distant future. I have an audience. I have detractors. None of them know it yet but I do. I thank you for your interest and welcome any help and advice you can offer.

    Willie Stewart, RN – author of the soon to be completed novel taRNished

    1. Hi Willie,

      That’s so great to hear, and I’m glad you found my post. I’m really curious to see how this goes for you, I’m already impressed with a lot of the things I’ve seen from your marketing strategy. Breaking ground, man!

      Keep in touch and let me know any other updates, I’d love to cover them in the future.


      1. Mr. Lucey, I wanted to reach back out to you to see if you are interested in reviewing a few chapters in y book taRNished? Book release is moving along nicely.

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