Write a preview of books in the upcoming month (bonus ideas: focus on a different genre in a series of preview posts, like “Next month’s YA new releases” or “Next month’s memoirs” or “Next month’s mystery and thriller new releases”)
Take us through your pre-orders: what do you have on pre-order and why?
Write a best books of the year so far (no time like the present!)
Write a RAL post… a “read-a-like” post or “What books to read if you love ___” or “Best books with friends to lovers romance.” These posts are great evergreen content (aka: the posts that are always popular and will bring you traffic steadily throughout the year).
Give us your take on an adaptation or two…for example, was there something in Game of Thrones that really differed from the books—for better or worse?…or the essential question: which adaptation of is better and why? (I love the Keira Knightley one more, sacrilege I know, but…Matthew Macfayden, am I right?)
I keep telling myself that this will happen to me one day…
Write your own dream adaptation. What books would make a great movie? Who would you cast? Who would the director be? Where would you set the story? (This sounds like it would make a great Pinterest board.)
What books that you’ve read would make good book club books? Why not give turn a post into a free reading group guide with discussion question, analysis of characters/plots, analyze quotes, give us some background on the book.
Write about an underrated author, book, or series. What YA contemporary romance do more people need to know about? Which space opera should we be reading?
Write a post about the book you almost broke up with but are glad you didn’t. I’m so happy I gave another chance since these turned out to be really awesome books. What are you glad you stuck with through the boring parts?
Write a list of recommended books for fictional characters (or real people!). For example, what books would you recommend the Tenth Doctor read? What novels are perfect for Frodo? What should Claire Underwood pick up after Season 3 of House of Cards? What should Kate, the Duchess of Cambridge, read now that she is royalty and a mum?
Write a reading hack, a way to make reading easier. One of my popular posts is about how to read faster by reading shorter books. Something you could do is how to prioritize your reading list or how to knock titles off your TBR (to-be-read) pile.
Rant away. What made you steaming mad about the last book you read? Why was the hero so unappealing—and why do people think he’s just the greatest, most swoon-worthy guy (tell us why they’re wrong)? Or talk about real life. How can libraries publicize their services better? What annoys you about how people discuss women writers or diverse literature?
Rant about your reading gripes Write a solution.
What do you see is wrong with the book world? What bothers you about representation in literature? What author is getting a bad reputation, but you think is misunderstood? Are there solutions to Amazon? What would that look like? (Full disclosure: I use Amazon affiliate links to keep the lights on with this blog.) Write a solution to the problem. You are an authority and have a valid opinion (which you will no doubt back up with examples and rational explanation, hmm?).
A resource post or link round-up. What are your favorite book blogs? What are some really awesome author sites? Who’s fun to follow on Twitter? You could make this a topic 101 or guide type post, too, like “Resources for urban fantasy readers” or “Best Tumblrs to follow if you’re a Harry Potter fan.”
What are some of the best books you read that you don’t own? Something you borrowed from someone, or a book you gave away your only copy of, or a book you checked out of the library and still haven’t gotten around to buying. Ask this question to your readers. What are the books that got away?
What cookbook is really rocking your socks? Some of my best evergreen content comes from cookbook reviews deep in the blog’s archives, something I would never have expected. What’s your favorite cookbook and why? Which ones do you use all the time? These are books and definitely count.
Cookbooks…I can never get enough…
What is the one book you can’t shut up about? Write about the book that is reaching your core and shaking it around write now. Write about the book you think everyone needs to read.
Write a few mysterious premises/plot summaries/characters/fictional couples down and have your readers guess which book you’re talking about, a kind of Pictionary, if you will. Reward the winner with a small gift card or a guest post.
What are people always asking you about? What do people think you know about, and rightly so? There is definitely a cult of the expert, and everyone knows a lot about some kind of niche topic, so demystify us on the subject? These ultra-niche blog posts are great for building traffic.
“Tis the season”: Book blogging posts that are tied to seasons and holidays are what I like to call “epic evergreen,” the posts that keep on giving. Check out a calendar of the major holidays in the year or go to Pinterest and search for inspiration. Here are three (plus more) ideas for each season of the year: On that note, here are three ideas for winter-themed posts:What are people thinking about for the winter? If people are talking about snow or if it’s on the news, write about the best books you’ve read while snowbound.
Bloggers should always be growing their evergreen content, the articles and posts that are always relevant or timely every year
“Dinner is served”: Come up with an original recipe or menu to go with a book you’re reading. Tearing through or going through a highlander romance phase? What’s your best recipe for shortbread? Did you just finish a travel narrative of another country, like Paul Theroux’s India by train classic, Try out a few recipes for chicken tikka masala (this one is my favorite)?
“I love rock and roll”: Time for a soundtrack post! What music is fitting for All the Bright Places’ Theo and Violet? Make a Spotify playlist or a public YouTube playlist and give us the detailed rundown on your selections in a p
What would you read if you knew no one would judge you? What have you felt like you had to read in secret? What book did you finish but never mark as “read”? Why do you feel so conflicted about this
Your reader’s manifesto in 500 words. Summarize your identity as a reader, your challenges and personal missions, values, and where you see yourself in the reading world all in the space of 500 words.
Pull back the curtain. Who are you, really? What are some things we wouldn’t guess about you, especially related to books, reading, blogging, and writing? What are some interesting facts about your life as a reader, some trivia people wouldn’t normally know.
FAQs. Get your readers to ask you questions sent through comments or on social media. What do they want to know about you? Throw out some suggestions—What book made you cry? What book made you feel more powerful? What novel did you lose your romance genre virginity to? How often do you abandon books midway through
Confessions. What are you embarrassed to admit to others? Do you buy 3-5 books a week on average? Do you read only 15% of the books you purchase each year? Did you actually hate ? Do you think that Rainbow Rowell is overrated? Spill! Just like with the reading slump post idea earlier, people need to feel like they aren’t alone in going against the grain. You’re a professional reader. You’re an articulate writer. You are a role model and people look to you for rationality and realism.
Shh! Confessions of a reader…
Analyze your reading year so far. If you’re on Goodreads there’s an easy way to do this. If you go to “My books” and then click on “Read” it will give you a list of all the books you’ve marked as read. Look for the list of links links above the books to the right of “Search and add books.” If you click on “Stats” you can see how you’re doing compared to previous years. Clicking on “Details” will give you more details on what you’ve read with your rating, longest book, most popular shelves for the year, etc. Once you’ve had a good look at this data, tell us what it all meant.
Who was a really influential mentor for you in your life as a reader? What teacher/librarian/parent/relative/friend had a profound effect on how you think about books? Write a thank you post to the people who made a substantial impact on your reading life. Use initials to protect their privacy (i.e. “A tribute letter to Mrs. S, my high school English teacher”).
Annotate your bookshelf. What’s literally on your Currently Reading/To Be Read shelf? Take a picture and break things down…what are you most excited to read? Which books were recommended to you? What is that one book you’re trudging through, and what book do you wish you could spend every minute of the day reading if it was possible?
Bare yourshelf to the world…annotate your shelves and break down your bookshelves
How are your bookshelves arranged? Write a blog post about how you organize your bookshelves. Is it total chaos or completely orderly, not a book out of place? Do you alphabetize by last name or by title? Are genres separated out? What are the subgenres? Do you have any tips for others–like the best ways to organize your bookshelf and why? How can people look at a shelf of books and break it down to a manageable system?
How are your Goodreads or LibraryThing virtual bookshelves arranged? What’s the most populated shelf? Why did you name things the way you did?
Dig up one of your old college syllabi and work through the required reading list. What have you learned since then? Did you find your notes and essays from back then? Any brilliant insight of a budding book writing professional? Or helplessly juvenile (I fall into that category)?
If a genie were to grant you 3 bookish wishes, what would you ask for and why? A dream vacation to the set of Outlander or Sherlock, or a prized first edition of something? Tea with J.K. Rowling? A guided tour of Maine by Stephen King? A guest post by Marie Lu?
What have you learned so far about blogging? What lessons do you have for others? What do you wish you’d known before you started? Tell us how you’ve grown and what you’ve learned about book blogging and give your readers some advice.
What are some hacks for book blogging that you’ve learned? What’s something nifty that you do to increase pageviews, use social media more efficiently, come up with more ideas, plow through your TBRs and ARCs? Share the love and help someone out. One of the defining characteristics about book bloggers is that they are creative and smart.
Schedule a post from the future. Round up your favorite posts so far, what’s been your biggest hits, a summary of stats and data, and goals for the future. Schedule the draft to post exactly one year from the day you wrote it. Don’t be shy about having the world see it. Then get on the post and annotate it, writing in bold text or a different color and analyze how things have changed.
A post from the past arriving in the future…seems a little time-y wime-y to me
Fancy a little fanfiction? I totally believe that fanfiction counts as literature, so give us some recs for your favorite ones for whatever fandom and/or ship you ship. You could make it a regular thing, Friday Fanfiction Reviews. Or you can write one of your own, acknowledging that they are not your characters (insert link).
Start a marathon—the reading world loves marathons. Host one of your own. Try 24 hours of something or 48 hours of something, like the Dewey’s Reading Marathon. What if you listened to audiobooks for 24 hours straight? Could you seek sponsorship and donate the funds to your favorite charity?
“Fiction forum”: Invite one or more of your closest book buddies to an instant message or Gmail Gchat and gab about a reading-related topic close to your hearts. Publish the transcript of your bookish discussion in a blog post. If your friend is also a book blogger, you could agree to split the transcript in half and direct traffic to the other person’s post to get the whole thing, or you could each select what was most important to you and have totally different analysis with background information on your blogs.
Invite reader participation while also getting an informal usability test: Create a scavenger hunt through your archives, but make it educational based around valuable information so it’s not just a reason to drive up traffic. Use clues like, “Which book by Tessa Dare did I recommend for readers new to historical romance and why?” and “Who are the three authors of feminist graphic novels that you should be aware of and what books have they published?” Raffle off a gift card from the results you tallied in a Google form.
Interviews. Network with a fellow book blogger or bookish person. Maybe reach out to the local bookshop or a librarian. Ask them questions about what’s the pulse of the reading world at the moment. If you’re feeling adventurous and the interview is going well, see if you can make this a recurring feature.
Library haul! Have your readers post pictures of their trips to the library (or the bookstore) all on a Sunday using a special hashtag on Twitter or Instagram. Be sure to respond to each photo you receive, and of course share yours as well.
A recent haul of my library books
Time capsule. Read a book that was a bestseller the year you were born, preferably in a genre you already know and love. What’s changed in fiction since then? This is especially fun if you go back and read a whole bestseller list from the week of your birthday (a list you can find for free all the way back to 1950 on the Hawe’s list (http://www.hawes.com/pastlist.htm)). Do any of these novels stand the test of time? Are any of them still in print? You could turn this into a series by focusing on each of the top 10 books over the course of 10 weeks. Invite your readers to read along with you, and since you’ll likely have readers of different ages, some of them might remember what other people have on their list.
Do an epic numbered list. People definitely love reading epic list articles (the aptly named “Listicle”) because they wonder what made the cut. They often wonder what they would have chosen, and that’s a good question to ask at the bottom of the article or on social media to promote audience interaction. You could promote this article by hinting at your selections with each one a separate Tweet. One of my colleagues at Book Riot did this in December 2015 when she made a separate Tweet with a microreview for her 100 favorite books she read that year. This became a Twitter event for her followers because there was an element of surprise and momentum. Wondering what to do? Here are a few ideas. Rank a genre or subgenre and be as niche-specific as possible. You could rank the 25 best space operas of the last 25 years with microreviews. Or you could list the 10 of the best books for each decade of the last 50 years (what is the one book that has been most influential for each of the last 50 years). Be provocative (this fits in with Be Bold) and take chances. Stand by your opinions because you defend them with intelligently and with passion.
“Dinner is served”: Come up with an original recipe or menu to go with a book you’re reading. Tearing through or going through a highlander romance phase? What’s your best recipe for shortbread? Did you just finish a travel narrative of another country, like Paul Theroux’s India by train classic? Try out a few recipes for chicken tikka masala (this one is my favorite)?
FAQs. Get your readers to ask you questions sent through comments or on social media. What do they want to know about you? Throw out some suggestions—What book made you cry? What book made you feel more powerful? What novel did you lose your romance genre virginity to? How often do you abandon books midway through?
If you’re a romance fan, which heros or heroines do you think are the absolute best? What if you did a head to head challenge, pitting one hero against another? Write a post or series of posts about the definitive best hero/heroine in fiction.
Analyze your year in reading. Consider creating an infographic.
Following up from above, ask your readers questions about their own years in reading. Create a Google Form and ask them to list how many books they’ve read, what their favorite books were (top 5 or top 10), which genres they read, where they got their books (gifted, purchased, borrowed, etc.), what new release they loved the most, etc. Again, consider making an infographic with pie charts and a visual representation of the data. Your readers will love you when they think you care about their reading.
Are you in a book club or have you been? Write a resource post about what people need to know about book clubs and what can help them. Write something not only for the social and outgoing people, but also someone who is shy and afraid to open up.
Which bookish podcasts do you listen to? Which are your favorite ones to listen to that talk about books and reading and writing? Write a resource post about bookish podcasts for readers to listen to.