I have way too many nonfiction book projects started and not finished. I even have one novel manuscript tucked away in a filing cabinet as well, even though my expertise lies with nonfiction books. So, why would I want to start a blog that would force me to begin writing another book? And why would I want to write this book out in the public eye where anyone can see whether I’m actually writing it and what my rough draft looks like?
I’m doing it because blogging a book represents a great idea. In the Internet Age and given the current state of traditional publishing, writers have to become more creative. They have to take their careers into their own hands. They have to become their own PR representatives and promotion and marketing directors. They have to start their own publishing companies. They have to take advantage of the current technology.
While other forms of publishing cost money, blogging your book is free! It costs nothing. Zero. Zilch. Bubkes. Plus, if you write good copy and promote your blog well, you might actually find that you gain more readers than you would with a traditionally published book.
Then…then…you can actually self-publish your blog as a book–or self-publish a different book, and your blog readers will buy it. In other words, you’ve created a readership. You’ve built a platform, and that’s what every writer needs today. (If you don’t know what this term means, read this post.)
Blogs constitute one of the best ways to build the coveted writer’s platform. In the past, going out and speaking to audiences provided writers with that platform. Today, you can build one from the comfort of your home. I’m not saying that a writer’s platform doesn’t benefit from some talks given here and there; it does. However, a blog read by thousands of people each day goes a long way towards impressing a publisher or selling your self-published book.
If you keep up with books and movies at all, you know that agents and publishers have picked up several author’s blogs and made them into books since about 2005. For example, Julia & Julia, PostSecret and Stuff White People Like all appeared as blogs before they became books. Of course, Julia & Julia also became a hit movie.
I have a friend whose niece was discovered while blogging about an orphaned coyote pup she was raising. She had no interest in becoming famous, but many writers have taken to writing with the hope of being discovered. If nothing else, a good number of blog readers will, as I said, impress an agent or publisher, should you want to take the traditional publishing route.
Over and above all this “business,” I decided to start this blog because I work with a lot of writers who struggle to get their books written. They feel blocked or can’t seem to get themselves to sit down and actually write their books. They want me to coach them through their procrastination and their fear. I think blogging offers them a chance to develop a daily or weekly writing practice while moving through their fear. It gives them deadlines and a chance to see what happens when they write consistently and actually publish that writing.
Inevitably, if you post to your blog on a regular basis, just like in the movie A Field of Dreams, “They will come.” Readers show up. At first it might be just one, but, before you know it, you’ll have two or three and then 10 or 12. Then, you’ll have a steady flow of 100 or more a day…and who doesn’t get inspired to write when they know people are reading their writing?
Additionally, the short blog post format makes writing every day easy. It also makes coming up with a structure for book chapters, and the book itself, simple. Thus, blogging a book eliminates the overwhelming quality of writing a book. This makes most people feel less intimidated about starting work on a manuscript.
Also, anyone can start a blog and begin blogging. If I can do it, you can do it. (I set this blog up and began writing in about an hour tops.) A blog also serves as a website. So, if you don’t yet have a website, your blog provides you with one immediately.
With all that in mind, I thought, “Why not blog a book on blogging a book?” I can show lots of writers how to write their books quickly and easily while promoting themselves at the same time.
And there you have it.
I plan on writing two or three posts a week barring any unforeseen circumstances. I don’t see the book as an outrageously long one, so hopefully it won’t take me too long to complete.
You’ll be seeing my “draft” manuscript. Although I’m a professional editor, I’ll be reading through each post only once, doing a spellcheck and then hitting “publish.” If there are typos or grammatical errors, I’ll worry about catching those later. (We’ll discuss editing work at some point in the book.)
And that’s it for today. I’ve already written way too much. Blog posts should be kept shorter than this one! Until next time, thanks for joining me on my journey to blog a book about blogging a book!