There are some entrepreneurs who’ve had blogs for long enough to create a great deal of content—enough to fill a book. If you’re one of them, then instead of writing an entirely new book to sell on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, iTunes and other online retailers, why not take those blog posts and compile them into an e-book and print volume?
It’s not hard to convert your posts into a book, but if you want to create something that has value to readers, you need to take a few preliminary steps before rushing to market.
- Create a story. You may be tempted to compile the blog posts in date order and then upload your book for sale, but you may be better off rethinking that. Browsing through a book isn’t like browsing through a blog. You can’t just click a tag for the relevant posts you want to read. Instead, you go page by page or chapter by chapter, and if the content inside isn’t arranged right, that’s going to be a frustrating experience which will cost you readers on future volumes while garnering lots of bad reviews. Instead, think of your book as a story and reorder the blog posts so they deliver the right tale.
- Add forewords and updates. Not every blog post is evergreen, but even content that isn’t completely timely could have a place in your book. Instead of just slapping it in, write a foreword or update for those posts that are dancing on the fence of relevance. That way, you can fill your readers in on changes and add value to your volume. Remember too that you might want to consider updating the language in all your posts to make it more book-appropriate. Overly casual blog posts don’t generally convert well without some language tweaks.
- Rethink your table of contents. It’s possible that allowing your table of contents to be dictated by your blog post titles is a good idea—but it also may not be. Remember that the table of contents is included in the book’s preview and it can be a selling point that makes people click to buy—or click to get away. Think about making a table of contents that’s appealing to potential buyers.
- Edit the content. No one wants to read a book with bad grammar, typos, poor sentence structure, repetition or too many adjectives. The mistakes you may get away with on a blog, you won’t get away with in a book. Having your book professionally edited and proofread is an important way to provide value to your readers and to show them respect. It gives them a better product and increases the trust they have in your future volumes.
- Get it formatted. People who read books—whether paper or electronic—expect a certain type of formatting. Publishing is changing, and readers are accommodating that change, but that doesn’t mean you can slap some blog posts together and call it a book. There are formatting standards that readers have come to expect. When you buck that trend, not only will readers have a harder time investing themselves in your book but they also might question its accuracy due to its unprofessional look. It’s like having your surgeon walk into the operating room in shorts and a T-shirt. Sure, he still knows his stuff…but you trust him quite a bit less simply because he doesn’t look like he’s taking it seriously.
If you’ve got a blog with more than 50 blog posts, you may just have the foundation for a book. Before you get it ready to sell, make sure you give it that professional polish that your readers not only expect, but deserve.
I can help you transform a blog full of posts into a valuable, professional book that reaches an entirely new segment of readers. Send me an email to talk about your project!