Blog to Book: What You Should Consider

by | Uncategorized, Writing | 17 comments

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?

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  1. pamelasthibodeaux

    Wow…VERY interesting information Zoe!
    Thanks for sharing!
    Good luck and God’s blessings

    • Zoe M. McCarthy

      You’re welcome, Pam. Thanks for stopping by.

  2. Tanya Hanson

    Hi Zoe, what an interesting concept! I’ve never had much success or interest with a personal blog, but my group all-western blog–I bet that could be a good book. Thanks for another helpful post.

    • Zoe M. McCarthy

      I’m glad your wheels are turning, Tanya. It sounds to me that a book is more successful if it’s based on a blog with a unique audience that is passionate about the subject. So an all-western blog might do well as a book.

  3. marilyn leach

    Zoe, I have a folder that I call Zoe’s Best in my email “cabinet”. When your topic/insight hits a need, I put it in the folder. (There’s dozens in there, by the way). So, I can read them when needed. But, for the sake of handy organization at my physical fingertips, I like the idea of a book. Just for sake of tidy, easy to reference, pull it and turn to a page, organization, it suits. Cheers

    • Zoe M. McCarthy

      Thanks so much, Marilyn, for sharing your answer to my question. I’m thinking of narrowing my subject down to blogs on the craft of writing. I do write about speaking, blogging, and marketing too, but I have far the most posts on the writing craft. I’d love to have my stuff organized by chapter for my own use, and do the additional research of make it book worthy.

      • marilyn leach

        If you put it together and publish it, I’ll buy it. Cheers

        • Zoe M. McCarthy

          Yea! A sale! Seriously, Marilyn, thanks for the vote of confidence.

    • Marcia

      I agree with this comment. Having the actual book is more helpful than an e-book too.

      • Zoe M. McCarthy

        Marcia, I know just where to go in my favorite craft books that sit on my desk when I need an answer. So I’m attached to my print copies too.

  4. Susan J. Reinhardt

    There are a ton of writing craft books out there – most of them reading like textbooks and boring. I’d love to read something along the lines of your blog – conversational and so interesting.

    • Zoe M. McCarthy

      Susan, I was just thinking about your very point yesterday. I was reading in Jeff Gerek’s The Art & Craft of Writing Christian Fiction and noticed how conversational Jeff is. I made a note to myself to write the book that way. Thanks for the confirmation.

  5. donnawinters

    So thorough. Thanks for the info. You answered questions I didn’t think of.

    • Zoe M. McCarthy

      You’re welcome, Donna. My research opened my eyes a lot. Got me excited too.

  6. Mary Selzer

    Thanks for sharing this information. I’ve been chewing on this topic for a while, and you really helped me find more clarity.

    • Zoe M. McCarthy

      You’re welcome, Mary. We sound like we’ve been in similar states. I’m ready to look at possible posts.

  7. Jane Foard Thompson

    That is an area I’ve been pondering. Interesting to note, Ann Voskamp’s One Thousand Gifts, which has sold millions and catapulted her into the limelight, was the result of ten years of blogging. It’s kind of memoir, but deep, with unique, captivating writing.

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