Turn a Blog into a Book

Can you turn a blog into a book? How does it work? Today’s #1 power tool for smart, market-savvy authors, your blog can help you develop content for your book and also creates a venue to test ideas and generate a buzz. A blog enables you to establish and deepen a relationship with your audience and to generate a demand for your book. Don’t hold back material thinking you need to protect it or worry that no one will want to read your book if you have already been blogging the same or similar content. The evidence reveals the opposite. The more people you get engaged in your blog, the more buyers you will have for your book--which is one reason why literary agents value blog readership as much or more than national media exposure as a predictor of an author’s ability to sell books.

When you blog, be brief. Rather than post entire chapters to your blog, use it as an opening to the conversation. Cover the main points in your book, but deliver your information in a concise, condensed format. When you go to write your book, choose the posts most relevant to your topic, elaborate on and expand the ideas–provide examples or whatever will deepen readers’ understanding. You also can go the other way. Write the book and then comb through it to find excerpts to post to your blog.

One caution: Don't put out a book that is only a compilation of blog posts. I believe it's better to expand on the ideas, check the writing, polish the work, and give it a clear context to make you shine.

Here are a few more thoughts…

5 Ways to use your blog to help your book.

Content Development: You can blog your main ideas and re-purpose the work to use in your book, products, and public speaking.

Testing ideas: You can experiment with different ideas and ways of communicating and see how your audience responds. Notice the questions they ask. Notice what stimulates the most conversation.

Tracking traffic: Sign up for Google Analytics and see what’s happening with your blog traffic. Do certain headlines stimulate more response? Should any of those headlines become chapter titles?

Get to know and target your audience: Ask for comments and invite people to your conversation. How does your audience respond? What information do they seek from you? How do they connect?

Create a buzz: Nothing wrong with generating a little controversy or posting something that gets people talking. You can also generate a buzz through humor or being creative. Whichever you choose, make sure it’s authentic, or it will blow up in your face.

Your thoughts? Anything I missed? Leave your comments.