The How and Why of Book Playlists

Isolated open book
Isolated open book

I don’t know about you, but when it comes to my favorite authors and the stories they have written, I am up for anything that tells me more about who the characters and stories are to the writer.

As a fan, I want to know more than what is written between the pages of the book.

One of the best ways to do this is by sharing the playlist of songs you used to inspire your writing.

Playlists for  books are not something new.

We as writers have been using this method for many years to help us write.

We as fans have been using this method to save songs that remind us of our favorite books and characters. That way we can immerse ourselves into the book even farther.


How does one even go about making a book playlist?

If you’re new to this form of inspiration you need to:

  1. Take time to decide if lyrical music or instrumental music is what inspires you. Maybe it will be a mixture of both. The best way to find out is by listening to both types while brainstorming for your book.
    • Start by checking out your own person music library.
    • If you cant find anything in your personal collection, turn to sites like iHeartRadio or Pandora and look for a station that plays more of what you are looking for with:
      • Certain Artists
      • Certain Tracks
      • Certain Genres
    • If you don’t have a specific type of artist or song in mind but are looking for ones that speak to a certain mood try YouTube. Type in a phrase that depicts what you are looking for and browse the different playlists various youtubers have created. You can try phrases like:
  2. Once you’ve decided what kind of music inspires you, write down, save, or by the songs that speak specifically to certain characters, settings, or scenes you are writing about and listen to them while you brainstorm and write.

How does one make a playlist worthy enough to share with fans?

Some authors just share a list of the specific songs they listened to while writing. If this is the method you choose to go with then all you have to do is list the songs that inspired you during the writing process on either your website, blog, or social media.

Other authors like to be more in depth by making a playlist of songs that speaks about the characters, the settings and the scenes in the book. Almost like a film score/soundtrack.

I can tell you from a fan’s standpoint, the more in depth the playlist the more the fan will enjoy it.

How does one make an in-depth book playlist?

Step 1: Make a list of all the important characters in the book and find a song that represents each one.

  • Example: The Heroine, The Hero,  The Antagonist, The Sidekick, etc…

Step 2: Make a list of all the places, settings and events in the book and find a song that represents each one.

  • Example: A song that represents the state the book takes place in, or the feeling of the book, or a specific event like a festival, etc…

Step 3: Make a list of all the important scenes in the book and find songs that speak to the feeling of each.

  • Example: Find a song that speaks to the End of the Beginning Scene, The Re-commitment Scene, the Crisis scene, the Climax scene and the Resolution scene.

Step 4: Find songs that match the vibe of all your other scenes.

  • Example: Sweet songs for sweet scenes, Scary songs for suspensful scenes, Sexy songs for sex scenes.

Step 5: If there are any songs mentioned in the book, write them down, make a note of what chapter they were mentioned in and find the song to add to the playlist.

Step 6: Add the songs on a musical sharing site like the ones listed below and then share it. Some musical sharing sites/apps are:

Ok. You can stop here and put all these songs haphazardly on a list and show it to your fans. They will love it.


You can go a step further and put them in an order where its like you are going through a musical journey of the actual book. Where the fans could listen to it while reading the book or they can listen to it alone and experience the book all over again.

How can you accomplish this?

You can easily make a “soundtrack” of your book by:

  • Listing all the chapters of the books.
  • Taking the information you used to make a detailed playlist and insert the songs into the chapters they happen in.
  • Then listing the songs in the same order the chapters appear in your book.

Example of a Romance Book List:

♥ The 1st song on the list could be a song that speaks to the general feel of the book or demonstrate the feeling of the opening scene

♥The 2nd song could musically describe the main character (usually the heroine).

♥The 3rd song could represent the place where the story takes place.

♥The 4th song could represent the cute meet.

♥The 5th song could represent the hero.

and so on and so forth…

If book playlists are an entirely new concept to you, take the time to check out what other authors and fans have created to get a general idea.

The Unofficial Addiction Book Fan Club – Books Playlists

List of Book Playlists on 8Tracks

#Book Playlist on Tumblr

“Book Playlist” or The Playlist Book Tag on YouTube

Stay Tuned

Wednesday @ 9am “What is BookTrack?”

Friday @ 9am “Depression and What It’s Like For Those Who Love You”


  • Do you use music to help you write? If so what kind?
  • Do you have a playlist ready to share with your fans?
  • Have you, as a fan, ever listened to a playlist an author has shared?
    Let's Chat Graphic

Published by Darla G. Denton, Writer

I am a Contemporary Romance Writer for Curvy women and the men who love them.

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