Open Notes

Book Marketing Log - Entry 01

“Climate change fiction” is a thing, even though many readers might not know it yet. It’s a category! Readers may discover books like The New Wilderness by Diane Cook, or The Ministry for the Future by Kim Stanley Robinson, or books you’ve written, and not realize they are part of the same category of climate fiction.

This is the first entry in a log of my progress to define and promote the category of climate fiction and introduce the category to more people. Welcome to Entry 01.

Climate change, as an existential problem that we all need to solve, had had trouble gaining traction in the attention economy. For a time, people (and fossil fuel companies) contested that it was even real. The problem of climate change is complex enough to inspire most people to a kind of paralysis. There are too many ways to consider the problem, too many bad guys, and we may be too far gone to do anything about it.

Mark Johnson, writing in Undark, put it well. “The central problem is that climate change lacks a human face — a vision of the people who will inhabit the world to come, and what they will endure. When we look into the faces of our children and grandchildren, we’re unable to form a mental picture of them struggling to survive in the world we’ve bequeathed to them.”

Maybe a novel can do the job of telling that story.

So that is the task before us: Writing about climate in a way that gives it a human face. That’s the first task, anyway. The second is figuring out how to create a pathway to the story you’ve written so that others can find it.

While beating the promotional drum for my book Surrender, I’ve had my best, early success by pitching myself as a guest on podcasts. The two best platforms I’ve found are and You can use for free at first; there’s a small fee to use Podmatch. They’ve both worked to match me up with podcast producers who want to hear from me as a guest to talk about my book and its themes. After just a few weeks of listing myself on both platforms, two interviews with me have been published already, and I am scheduled to record four more.

I’ve also hired a book marketer and I’m submitting my book to awards. I’ll post more about those strategies soon, in the next book marketing log entries. For now, have you heard of the “climate fiction” category? If you’ve written a book in that category, how are people finding out about it?