It is becoming more common for writers to talk about their current work in progress on social media and on their websites. There are many reasons to tease a work in progress. You might want to start building a base of readers around a WIP, or you might want to keep your current fans engaged until your next book comes out. Some authors even use a WIP page as a way to communicate with potential agents.
If you decide you want to tease your WIP on your author site, there are several ways you can go about it. Finding a unique way to tease your project involves knowing why you want to tease it and who your potential audience is. But before we get into the different methods of teasing, let’s set down some ground rules:
- Make sure people visiting your site know it is a work in progress. There’s nothing more disappointing than going to my favorite author’s site, reading about an awesome book, trying to buy it, and only understanding five minutes later it isn’t even finished. Not cool. Labeling things “WIP” is a good start, but non-writers might not know what that stands for, so spell it out somewhere.
- Treat a WIP tease differently than your “coming soon” tease. What’s the difference? A piece is a WIP until you have a release date for it. Once you have a release date, then you can switch over to “coming soon” advertising, which usually includes a nifty banner as well as a dedicated landing page.
That’s about it. Simple, really. Now, let’s dive into the several ways you can tease your WIP and find the right style for you.
People tend to like visualizations of when they might see their favorite author’s next book, and a status bar that slowly fills as you work on your book can help get people excited while motivating you.
The main problem with WIP bars is that writing is rarely a linear task. There is no clear beginning and end. For example, you might do a rough draft bar and assume you’re aiming for 80,000. But your story may go under or over the mark. Similarly, you may have a revision bar broken down into four revisions. But sometimes a work needs another pass.
Because of this, WIP bars are guesstimates at best. But even if they’re not always accurate, they are visually pleasing and fun. So if you want to have a bit of motivation on your site, throw a bar in there so your readers can cheer you on.
An aesthetic page is my favorite way to tease a WIP. With the WordPress Gutenberg editor, it’s simple to add multiple photo galleries to a post. This will allow you to make an aesthetic for your main character and your overall book. You may also want to add a couple of pull quotes from your manuscript (Just a line or two) and a short description of the project.
One thing to keep in mind if building an aesthetics page is that you find images you can use and credit them properly. If you are using images under CC0, you do not have to credit the creator. But anything above 0, and you will need a link to your source photo and to credit the original creator.
Weave It Into Your Blog
A lot of authors aren’t sure what they should blog about and so they end up blogging about their writing process. While that’s great and all, there are so many more interesting things you can do with your blog. One of them is to tease your work in progress.
If I was to tease my WIP on my blog, I would not necessarily say that I was doing so (although I might tag my posts with a WIP or research tag). Instead, I would just start in-depth articles about the weird things I find while researching my latest work. For example, my latest WIP was about a social media challenge. I might start blogging about the various social media challenges that teens are currently engaging in.
Finally, a simple way to tease your WIP is to add a small widget to your website footer or sidebar. This can have the title of the work, a picture, and a small description. Often, this is enough to pique your readers’ curiosity.
Do you tease your WIP on your website? I’d love to hear your tips and tricks or any methods I didn’t cover here. If you don’t, why not?