So you want to put those blog posts into a book?
The idea of repurposing a series of blog posts into a book is attractive, smart and potentially rewarding, but you should answer at least six questions before you take on this venture. The queries relate to the blog or book material since that’s where you start. Plus, your content represents the most important part of your book.
Consider these questions regarding the material and the content of your proposed book and yourself:
Is the material sufficient, original, focused, and the right length? Has it been organized, revised, cut, updated, and expanded?
1. Do you have enough material on the subject?
Even though many Kindle books are short, a few blog posts cobbled together isn’t going to cut it. Today’s competition means other writers will be covering the same material as you. Will they do it with more substance and depth? You have to compete. That means you can’t wing it. You must provide enough material to create a substantial book.
2. Is your material original?
Either your book is:
- mostly original content, or
- an old topic seen through new eyes and with a new perspective.
If it is wholly original, that’s good. Not being original doesn’t mean you should abandon the idea. But while your book does not have to be all original, certain things should be.
At least, you should tackle a common subject with a fresh approach and a new “voice,” a new perspective. It helps if you have some new information to add; your book should not simply be a re-hash of available material with a few of your comments thrown in.
From that point of view, it should be original.
Your voice will register with some people more than the current experts, so there is room for you even in a crowded category. We’ve all had something described or taught to us five times, but it’s that one additional person’s way of expressing a concept or describing a process that caused it to make sense to us. That additional person could be you, teacher, but you have to offer the information from our perspective.
3. Is your material focused?
Is the book’s topic focused enough?
Obviously, as you write your book you will cover your topic from several angles, and you will discuss a variety of subjects related to the main topic. However, you must stay focused on your central theme or idea. Don’t go wandering all over the field of human relations if your book is about grief after a parent’s death.
4. Have you revised, cut and edited?
You can’t just copy and paste your blog posts into a book format without revision, cutting, and editing. You know that already, I’m just reminding you of the kind of work ahead.
Keep in mind that traditional publishers require authors to take these steps. If you self-publish, adhere to the same standards and procedures, so you produce a quality product.
5. Have you included additional material?
Certainly, you’ll have to add connective tissue material to link previously published blog posts together, or sub-topics (chapters) with others. You will have to structure and shape the material, so the chapters follow organically as well as logically, not haphazardly.
And you’ll have to update your old material.
Additionally, you will have to add material to flesh out some of the blog topics that you might have covered somewhat cursorily in your original posts.
6. Is your book the right length?
As it is said about skirts, the length of your book should be short enough to create interest and long enough to cover the essentials.
Pressed for time, today many people want to read shorter books. And short books seem to fit into the Kindle price structure, which is good.
Consider the purpose of your book as it relates to length. Is this all you have to say about the topic or will this book be part of a series?
Many authorities say 2,500 words is the minimum length to be considered a Kindle “book.” Ebooks also can be full-length books.
In fiction, there is a thing called a “short-short” story, which can be any length. (Hemingway famously did one in six words.) These are published alone in a newspaper or magazine or gathered in a collection. You’d need many short-shorts for a book.
I have a 17-page book that is extremely helpful for students, but I’ve not put it on Kindle partly because of its length. I find it hard to think of it as a book because it is so short. It meets the word count for a Kindle book. I also will use it as a free lead generator on my website.
The value of these shorter pieces, fiction or non-fiction, lies in the quality of the content more than the length.
Most people do not accidentally write dozens of posts on a given topic in a short period that can be turned into a book. If your blogged book project is intentional, and you plan to use original blog posts, you should know a lot about the subject. Conversely, you have to have a deep interest in the topic so as you learn and write about it, neophyte readers can follow simultaneously and learn, too.
From One Blog Post to a Book
One blog post can lead to many, which can lead to a book, which can lead to a book series!
Consider the content of your proposed book from the point of view of these six elements. Doing so will help you feel confident about your decision to create a book out of your posts. Or not. It all depends on the material and how you handle it.
Good thinking and good fortune!
About the Author
Frank Daley is the founder and director of Self-Knowledge College. His core book is Who Are You And What Are You Doing Here? The Way To Know Yourself And Get What You Want.
His blog is The Daley Post.
To get his book Four Questions to Change Your Life! FREE, visit Self-Knowledge College.