And to the late Professor John Keats, who said, “If you can write an article, you can write a nonfiction book. A nonfiction book is just a series of articles on the same topic strung together.” I strung a series of related blog posts together instead. I hope you’re proud, JK.
The opening quote to How to Blog a Book by Nina Amir.
The first edition of How to Log a Book: Write, publish and promote your work one post at a time by Nina Amir came out in 2012 and was an instant success. On Amazon, the book presently has 65 customer reviews, and 62% of them are five-star ratings.
Her updated and expanded version, released this month, has also climbed the charts.
Nina begins by reminding us in this book that the blogosphere is a crowded place. According to www.WPVirtuoso.com, in 2013 there were approximately 152 million blogs on the Internet with more added every minute.
But don’t let this fact dissuade you from starting a blog. As Joel Friedlander says in the foreword,
“no group of people is better situated than bloggers RIGHT NOW to take advantage of the historic movement to digital books and the exploding popularity of self-publishing.”
In other words, if you’re not presently blogging, you better get started.
There are many benefits to blogging a book. For example, it’s an easy way to blog as you write. In addition, a blogged book:
- Gives you exposure and builds platform.
- Gives your expert status.
- Gets your writing read – and read quickly.
- Allows you to test-market your book.
- Provides a daily writing commitment.
- Allows you to get feedback on your writing.
- Ensures you complete your manuscript.
- Shows what you’ve got but not everything.
- Allows you to you and your book get discovered.
[clickToTweet tweet=”A blogged book allows you to test-market your book via @CaballoFrances” quote=”A blogged book allows you to test-market your book via @CaballoFrances”]
While blogging a book is a great idea it isn’t necessarily an easy project. For example, you need to conceptualize and organize the complete book ahead of time.
[clickToTweet tweet=”Conceptualize & organize your next nonfiction book ahead of time @CaballoFrances” quote=”Conceptualize & organize your next nonfiction book ahead of time @CaballoFrances”]
Granted, this isn’t an easy task but if you undertake this process of planning your book from start to finish, you’ll have an outline of your book and an editorial calendar for your blog.
In Nina’s earlier edition, she focused on preparing book proposals. In this updated version, she discusses the importance of creating a business plan around your books. That’s why she encourages authors to create a plan by conducting the following research:
- Markets – Do you know who your readers will be?
- Promotion – How will you promote your book once it is published?
- Competing & Complementary Titles – Have you researched other books that cover the same topic or that are similar or related to your topic?
- Outline – Have you created an outline of your entire book?
- List of Chapters – You don’t need to decide on the exact titles of the chapters, but you should have subject titles on your list.
- Chapter Summaries – Do you know what you will say in each chapter?
Doing this exercise will allow you to decide whether you have conducted enough research to write the book and the book will be much easier to write.
Nina also recommends either mind mapping your book or using sticky notes to create a visual outline of your book. This is what she says about this process:
Put a large sticky note in the middle of the board and write your book topic on it. Now start writing related topics on the other sticky notes. If you are a very creative person but not very organized, just write down subjects on the sticky notes and stick them on the board. Don’t worry about colors or where you put them. Once you have run out of topics, begin organizing them into related topic areas on the board by moving the sticky notes around. The new groupings become chapters. You can use a different-colored sticky note at the top of each grouping to indicate its general topic heading. As you group the sticky notes, you might get additional ideas. You can add these to the appropriate group or chapter.
If you’re wondering what else is in the book, here is a complete outline of the chapters:
- Book blogging basics
- Why blog a book
- How to prepare to blog your book
- Your book’s business plan
- Creating your blog
- Writing your blogged book
- How to blog a book
- Driving traffic
- I’ve finished my blogged book, now what?
- Repurpose blog posts for profit and promotion
- Success stories
Are you wondering whether whether blogging a book works for fiction authors? Well, Nina says numerous fiction writers follow her How to Blog a Book blog and benefit from it.
I think that many of the principles discussed in her book can apply to fiction authors, especially the chapters on how to set up a blog, how to plan a book, and how to drive traffic to your blog.
Whether you write fiction or nonfiction, I recommend you buy this book.
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About the Author: Frances Caballo is an author and social media strategist and manager for writers. You can receive a free copy of her book Twitter Just for Writers by signing up for her newsletter. Connect with Frances on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, and Google+. Be sure to check out my Social Media for Authors Podcast.