When I began this blog, I served as my own research and development project. I learned as I blogged my book. And, like any project going through research and development, I learned some things–sometimes after the fact. Most of what I learned later has been included in the printed book, How to Blog a Book: Write, Publish, and Promote Your Work One Post at a Time (which is now available for presale). However, I continue to learn lessons all the time, and I share them here. Today, I’m going to share one such lesson.
As you go post your blogged book, you want to create a way for readers who come along later to actually read your blogged book from the very beginning–from page #1. Readers normally can’t do this even if they go back to the first post. Not only is a blog essentially a reverse chronological publishing tool, if you click on a particular post, once you have that post on your screen, it won’t allow you to progress to the next page.
To offer readers more of a book experiences–to let them turn pages from the first until the last page of your blogged book, thus giving them the semblance of being able to turn the page of your blogged book, provide a link at the bottom of each post that allows them to read the previous post or the next post. It will look like this.
Then provide them with a link to the first page of the book, like I’ve done here. You’ll notice that on that page you can also access a complete table of contents for the book, with chapters and posts. A reader can find particular information in this way as well. I suggest you create this as you write.
Now… as I have mentioned before, I did not have this handled in the beginning. In fact, I failed to do any of this as I was writing. However, I fixed the problem just today, or rather my handy intern fixed it for me by going through every post in this entire blog, but you don’t want to have to do that, nor do you have to. Why? Because now you know better.
I also created a link to the table of contents on the right side of this blog with a widget.
As I’ve also mentioned previously, you can create categories that are chapter related. I don’t suggest using the titles of your chapters, because they may not have titles that are searchable. You can then put topics related to these chapters (content covered in the chapter) under these categories. This is a good way to organize a blogged book for easy reading. You may be able to name some subcategories in a way that makes for easy reading.
WordPress makes another suggestion for how to organize a blogged book. (Yes, WordPress.) This one may work well for those blogging novels and posting whole chapters at a time. To produce chapters and a table of contents on a separate page, follow these steps:
- Create a new page from Pages -> Add New called Index.
- Create a new page from Pages -> Add New called Chapters.
- Go to Settings -> Reading. Under Front page displays, choose A static page. Set Index as the Front page. Set Chapters as the Posts page.
- Create a new post from Posts -> Add New – this will be your Chapter 1. Publish it. Copy the URL of the new post.
- Edit the Index page, and create a link to Chapter 1. If you do not mind the chapters appearing in descending order on your Index page, you can use the Archives Shortcode to painlessly create a chapter index.
- Repeat steps 5 and 6 for each chapter of your book.
(Note: You can also use Pages for your chapters instead of posts.)
Consider whether Recent Posts, Recent Comments, and Archives widgets will break the flow of your book. If so, remove them. Personally, I think all of these are useful to blogging a book. However, you may not need archives if you are keeping up with a table of contents.
If you want to learn more about how to blog a book, register for my upcoming “Blog Your Way to a Book Deal” 4-part teleclass, which begins March 6. Find out the details here.