Thursday, May 23, 2013

Building the Buzz: Day 23 Bonus Content

When marketing your book, the holy grail is a reader turned evangelist for your work. But just like the media, readers won't talk about your book forever....unless you give them something to talk about.

If you want readers to keep spreading the word about your work you need to give them something new that reminds them why they loved your book so much in the first place. A great way to do this is through bonus content.

Bonus content can be any number of things. The only objective is to tie it to your work in a way that pulls the attention of your fans. Here are a few idea for bonus content you can share with your readers:
1. Deleted scenes: just because it didn't make its way into the book doesn't mean your readers don't want to see it.
2. Alternate ending/beginning: Most of us rewrite these scenes more than any other part of our book. Why not share some of them with readers as a 'what might have been' peek.
3. Alternate POV scenes: Your book may follow your heroine through the journey, but consider writing one of your more tension filled scenes through the eyes of the love interest. And it doesn't have to be just the good guys. Feel free to give your villain a little page time as well.
4. Off stage scenes: We all have action that takes place outside of the immediate action of the book (or offstage). For an example: The scene in Chamber of Secrets where Hermione figures out the monster is a basilisk in the pipes. We know this happens, but the scene isn't in the book.
5. Future follow up: Unless your book is part of a series, readers never get to know what happens next. Consider writing  a scene of your characters the next day, the next year, or the next decade.

Your bonus content doesn't have to be new scenes. Any of the ideas from the blog tour list that you didn't use can easily become bonus content.

The best way to disseminate your bonus content is through your website. It's the home base for your fans and the perfect place for them to see if you have any new work coming out. You can share these as an extra page on your site, but before you give them away, you might want to make your readers work for it.

You can announce the release of bonus content once you hit x number of FB fans, Twitter followers, blog subscribers, 5 star reviews, or pre-orders for your next book. If you offer something your readers will want, they will do what needs to happen to get it.

For today's task, make a list of specific bonus content you can share with your fans and plans for how and when to give it to them.


  1. I love this idea. I've noticed some writers with e-novallas. Do you need your publishers permission to do these types of things?

    1. Best to check. Your contract may have a non-compete clause which limits your ability to publish similar books. Besides, they may want to publish it for you. :)

    2. To be clear, I'm talking about the novella. The other stuff, scenes and the like, are promotional so you should talk to the publicist assigned to your book.

  2. Oh dear. I hope there won't be any deleted scenes in my book. But you've given me a great idea of what to do if there are. I'm considering writing a short-story prequel as a bonus. I'd off it for free (although agent says "charge for it").

  3. I LOVE this idea. Incentivize them with cut scenes etc!! Love it!!! I already have a few alternate beginnings... And writing another pov would be FUN!!


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