Blog to Book: What You Should Consider

Image by ariapsa
Image by ariapsa

Writing books from blogs is a popular current trend. Readers have asked if I might consider making my blog into a book. Yes, I’ve thought about it. Here’s what my research says I should take into account.

Books based on blogs can open up opportunities.

image by souzamirandaheitor0
image by souzamirandaheitor0

They can:

  • Expand my blog audience.
  • Demonstrate to clients my talents.
  • Add credibility to my brand.
  • Give me “expert status” for invitations to guest post, speak, and lead  workshops.
  • Provide material for a catalog of shorter books (15,000 – 25000 words) on my blog’s subtopics.
  • Provide myself an organized reference book based on my blog research in becoming a better writer, speaker, blogger, and marketer.

My research highly recommended I don’t use a quick and easy service to publish all posts word for word.

  • image by PeteLinforth
    image by PeteLinforth
    Readers may be irritated to read vaguely related posts thrown together.
  • Readers may balk at paying for exactly what they can read on my blog.
  • Blogs streamed to a book could hurt my brand and credibility.
  • Blogs are unique. Well done blogs aren’t appropriate for a book unless shaped into a book.
image by Unsplash
image by Unsplash

Books and Blogs are different reading experiences.

  • Books are longer and provide a deeper reading experience. Blogs are optimized for online reading with images, links, interactive comments, and videos.
  • Books are expected to line up in a readable way.
  • Book readers like to delve into a topic, instead of skimming.
  • Books foster credibility.
  • Books reach a different audience. My book audience may be those who:
    • don’t read blogs
    • are uneasy with technology
    • have access to the Internet only from work
    • prefer to read in other formats
  • Books reach the same audience. My book audience may be those who:
    • have never crossed my blog path
    • are more recent readers interested in my earlier content
    • would like to read my blog posts in an organized format

What kind of blogs-to-books do well?

  • Information-driven, business, and self-help.
  • How-tos or problem-solving.
  • Memoir-types often don’t do well.

Have books professionally edited.

  • Hire a professional editor, if possible.
  • Enlist beta book readers.
  • Involve my readers as I produce my book — for feedback on the title, the book cover, and list of possible concepts.
image by Pexels
image by Pexels

Steps to shape my blogs into a book.

  • Focus on one main topic.
  • Make 2 lists: Possible posts; possible concepts.
  • Decide what needs to be in my book without looking at my blog, then bring in relevant posts.
  • Combine blogs into one place, such as a document in Microsoft Word or Scrivener.
  • Update out-of-date references.
  • Remove posts that don’t fit well.
  • Add or remove paragraphs.
  • Research new unpublished information or concepts to entice readers or to round out the book.
  • Include additional ideas, strategies, explanations, pros and cons, personal examples, step-by-step directions.
  • Peruse post comments for quotes and questions to expand material.

What to consider in turning your blog into a book. Click to tweet.

What is your opinion about a blog like mine being shaped into a book?

Book Promotion Overwhelming? Pick the Plums Touching Your Nose

“Your big opportunity may be right where you are now.” —Napoleon Hill

 

Image courtesy of adamr at FreeDigitalPhotos.net
Image courtesy of adamr at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Many of us authors dread marketing our books. It’s difficult, time-consuming, and often we’re unsure it works.

The least we can do is open our weary marketing eyes and grab the promotional opportunities directly in front of us. Those ripe plums.

Opportunity Plums

 

Image courtesy of Stuart Miles at FreeDigitalPhotos.net
Image courtesy of Stuart Miles at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

1.  Fans

When someone tells you they enjoyed your book and why, say thank you and ask them to post a review on various sites. Most, because they enjoyed your work, will leave at least one review. Make it easy for them. Say all they need to write is what they told you about your story. Email them links to the spots to write reviews on online bookstores and reader sites.

2.  “Persons of Influence”

Here are examples of my plums. Notice, in none of these did I seek the plum. Those plums appeared because I worked on friendships or put myself out in the reader world.

Image courtesy of Stuart Miles at FreeDigitalPhotos.net
Image courtesy of Stuart Miles at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

•  A friend in my church invited me to her book club. I thought joining a book club too time consuming, but I accepted her invitation. I learned she wanted me to visit once to introduce me to the local bookstore owner who attended the book club. The owner offered to set up an event for Calculated Risk at her store.

•  I posted about the two women who were the only ones to attend my first local library event. They were involved in eight library book clubs. They suggested I come back. I asked if they’d promote to their clubs a second event. They assured me they would.

•  A few friends asked me to let them know if I ever did a book signing in my former city. I knew I should arrange an event there at a library, a bookstore, or my former church. It seemed overwhelming. Then a librarian friend from my former church emailed me. She wanted to buy a copy of Calculated Risk for the church library. A plum. Who better to help me arrange an event in that city? I asked, and she graciously agreed to help. 

•  A popular author and I have the same agent. Though time-consuming, I’m active in our agent’s email group for her authors. When I announced my contract for Calculated Risk to the group, this popular author emailed me and offered to interview me on her high-traffic blog.

by joncutrer
by joncutrer

3.  Conference Centers 

Many have bookstores connected to them. You pay the fees and do the work to travel to and attend conferences at these centers. Why not ask their bookstores to carry your book. The bookstore rep I called yesterday said they usually carry a few of attendee authors’ books if they asked. And since I’d asked, she’d carry mine.

 

Pluck the promotional plums hanging in front of your nose. Click to tweet.

 So, keep active in writer and reader groups, put yourself into the reader world starting with small events, and be alert to the plums that drop in front of your nose.

 Which promotional plums directly in front of you did you pluck?

When Opportunity Knocks, Are You Locking the Door?

“He that tries to seize an opportunity after it has passed him by is like one who sees it approach but will not go to meet it.” — Kahlil Gibran

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An opportunity rises from an email, a blog, a phone call, a visit, or another source. Our minds whirl with the possibilities and then dart to the failure probabilities. Aren’t our second reactions the voice of reason? We delete the email, close the blog, excuse ourselves from the phone call, or change the subject.

Later we wished we’d taken a third look.

Here are things to consider before you reject an opportunity.

The Third Look

blueprintConsideration 1. Are you set on the direction you want your life to take, and the new prospect fails to fit in your plan? If you’ve spent much time on mapping your goals, perhaps the opportunity would lead you off course. Still, take a third look:

  • With a brainstorming and open mind, ask: How might this opportunity fit into my plans?

ClockConsideration 2. Is it a good fit but with your current focus and workload, it’s the wrong time to take advantage of the offer? Take a third look.

  • If the offer is an ongoing need or is valid for a long period, capture all the details, including contact information. Store this in a physical or virtual folder. Things happen, and the right time might be tomorrow.

 ◊

Stack of Files and PapersConsideration 3. On the second look, did you envision mounds of work? Take a third look.

  • All good opportunities take time, energy, and work. You want to make sure the opportunity is the right thing to do, but don’t reject it because it requires effort. See 4 Choices That Improve Your Perseverance to help you decide whether to take on the work.

Image courtesy of Patou at FreeDigitalPhotos.net
Image courtesy of Patou at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Consideration 4. Does the thought of pursuing it scare you? You’ve stepped out in the past and failed? Take a third look.

  • The anxiety could be good. It means the opportunity will be a growing experience. Previous failures prepare you for THE opportunity. This may be THE one.

 

Example

I’m going to the American Christian Writers Conference in the fall. It’s a setting for much learning, a time to network, and an opportunity to pitch books to editors. Already feeling intimidated, I chose to pass on volunteering this time.

Then a call arrived by email for reporters to cover the conference sessions for the ACFW Conference Ezine in return for some publicity.

At the last ACFW conference I attended, my second look at reporting brought on tremors of failure. An introvert, I could barely handle volunteering in the bookstore.

This year reporting failed to fit into my plan. I planned to fill my conference time learning, networking, and pitching. Reporting would be too much work during the conference—and after, when I might be preparing a proposal for an interested editor.

Before I hit the delete key, my mind opened and I saw a perfect opportunity to help out with the ezine while adding an activity to my platform-building plan. Now that I’d blogged for a while, I felt less fearful. And the work would be worth the benefits.

This year was the right time, and I could fit this opportunity into my plans. I sent my information to the coordinator and will be a 2013 ACFW Conference Ezine reporter.

For me, I can use KNOCK for accepting opportunities.

Knees: I will drop to my knees and pray for God’s guidance.

Never: I will never fear what God puts before me.

Obediently: I will obediently pursue it.

Call: I will call on God to equip me.

Know I will know running the race gets the prize.

Will you share a time when you took a third look at an opportunity and succeeded in your decision?

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