How to Turn a Blog into a Book
Going from blogger to author is one of the most difficult transitions a person can ever attempt to make. As more and more popular bloggers watch their thoughts get transferred into book format, it’s only natural to wonder how they can possibly pull this off. Coming up with a few blurbs about your life or a variety of other topics is easy enough, but how does one turn these into a book?
What to Expect
The first step is realizing that your blog is not going to translate into a book word for word. You are going to have to spend a serious amount of time combing through it, reading it repeatedly until certain gems and nuggets jump out at you that can be refined and reused in a book format.
Reading your own blog with an unbiased eye can be a hugely challenging proposition for even the most rational, level headed person. Having an extra set of eyes to read over your work makes a huge difference. Be sure to choose someone who is willing to be brutally honest and tell you when certain things simply will not work.
Establish Your Purpose
Once you have begun to isolate the areas of your blog that are best converted into a book format, the next step is to figure out what angle you are going to use for the book. With so many self published books and a deluge of new e-books on an almost weekly basis, it is important to select a point of view for your book that sets you apart from other budding authors.
This is a much easier prospect for bloggers who have spent their time and effort exploring one topic in particular. For those who tend to blog about a wide range of subjects, this process can take much longer than originally expected. In this case, a person will have to hone their blog and select the topic that is going to form the basis of their book before they begin writing it.
After deciding what the book is going to be about and choosing the particular parts of your blog to use, it is time to make an outline of what will be included in your book. This is also known as creating a concept map. Having a session of brainstorming with trusted friends and collaborators can help you to flesh out the map.
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The sky is the limit and your outline should be based on the book that you have always dreamed of writing, as opposed to trying to mimic someone elses formula for success. However, you still do want you book to be marketable, so bear this is mind before you choose a subject that is too esoteric for mass consumption.
Having the Right Content
Materials that have already been published should be used as a jumping off point, but do not need to copied word for word. A successful author focuses on conveying a certain feeling, as opposed to getting too hung up on the mechanics of what they say. You can repeat the same ideas without worrying about sticking to your original wording.
Look at the book as an opportunity to improve upon your original work, not copy it over again. Getting stuck on your old material is not the most conducive method to creating a great, original book that will appeal to a mass audience. That is why having an outline is so crucial to your book’s success.
An outline enables an author to strip mine their blog for the most engaging and revealing content, giving them a jumping off to build from. Once you begin to isolate the posts that you want to use, additional writing should flow much more easily from there. Chances are good that you have more to add to your original thoughts. Thoughts and opinions tend to change over the course of time.
When writing a blog, it is important to keep your posts labeled by subject matter so that you can locate them quickly. If you did not do this, then certain steps of this process are going to take much longer than they would for someone who was adequately prepared.
As you track down the relevant blog posts that you wish to use for your book, open a new document on your computer and begin to copy and paste the posts into it to form your manuscript. This gives you the chance to see just how much additional writing (or editing) you have to do to finish your book.
During the creation of the extra content, do not simply place it into your manuscript file. Add the missing content to your blog. By blogging the missing pieces of your book, you are able to engage in cross promotion, which builds a much larger platform for you to launch your book from.
There are a number of services out there that provide wannabe authors with an easy way out. They will pick out all of your posts for you and create a manuscript for you upon request. However, the author’s original voice tends to be lost in these sorts of arrangements.
Your blog essentially exists as the first draft of the book you hope to write. Rather than using a service to convert your blog into a manuscript and then a book, do the revising yourself. These blog to book services typically do not bother with that part of the process, which can lead to a disjointed reading experience.
The readers of your blog are a great test audience for you to showcase your work to. Their reaction lets you know if your book is ready to publish or needs additional polish. You can also post unpublished excerpts or special chapters that you are unable to put into the final edition of the book, to give your readers a taste of what you have to offer.
This practice also serves to pique the interest of publishers and lead to increased visibility for not only this book, but any other books you may subsequently publish. Motivating loyal readers of your blog to purchase the book is an added bonus.
Writing a book out of your blog gives budding writers a great way to get additional mileage out of material that they have already published to the Internet. This is a much slower way of creating content, though.
Learn From The Experience
The final step of this process is learning that it will be much simpler next time if you perform the actions in reverse. Rather than writing a blog and then trying to turn it into a book, use your blog as the template for your next book.
While some may be able to comb through their blog, formulate an outline and find posts that adhere to the topics chosen, others can find this process to be tedious and boring. When it comes to creating a book that people can read and enjoy, the process should never be boring.
Trying to turn a blog into a book is challenging because most blogs are written without the book in mind. But when you decide on your next book’s topic and subject matter, don’t wait until it is time to locate all of your pertinent blog posts.
Come up with an outline that you can adhere to as you write your blog each day. When you write your book on your blog, this gives a manuscript to work with from day one and streamlines the entire process, which is music to the ears of the would be author. You are also able to promote your upcoming books to your readers as you do so.
Having the ability to turn your blog into a book can be tremendously rewarding. It enables authors to expand their overall audience and cover the topics they choose in a much more in depth manner. Books allow authors to follow ideas down the rabbit hole much further than a blog would.
The initial process can be tedious as you learn your way, but once you are able to see the light at the end of the tunnel, it becomes much easier. There is nothing quite like having a captive audience that hangs on your every word. By following these steps, you too can make the transition from blogger to author.