You have a dream of becoming an author, but you know no one will purchase your book unless you begin promoting that book right away–from the first moment you start right. So, you set out to blog a book. Why? Because you know that by blogging a book you can write and promote you book at the same time. As you publish your book in post-sized installments, you will build a readership for your book–a fan base.
So, day in and day out, you compose a post and publish it on your blog, slowly but surely building a book. You watch your fan base grow over time. And as you near completion of your blogged book, you begin to make plans for turning it into a printed book. (Maybe you’ve been approached by an agent or two or maybe you plan on contacting an agent. Possibly you want to self-publish.)
Then suddenly one day a thought pops into your head: “Why the heck would any of my blog readers want to purchase a book they’ve already read for free on my blog? What the hell was I thinking?”
Seem vaguely familiar to you? If so, let me answer that question, since you are not the first one (nor will you be the last) to ask it.
There are 5 reasons someone, namely a blog readers, would buy your blogged book:
- They want a souvenir from their favorite blog and blogger. People are strange that way. They simply love to have souvenirs of the places, people and things they love. If you can develop blog fans–and blogger fans–they will purchase just about anything you offer them (or at least a percentage of your fans will buy it).
- They want the new, improved edition of the book. When you are done blogging a book, if you have taken the advice I’ve offered here on my blog and in my book (which you own if you are a fan and wanted a souvenir or fall into any of the other categories I’m describing in this list) you not only created a manuscript but you also had that manuscript edited. That means the book you publish has been revised, polished, improved. It might be longer or shorter. You may have added new resources, explanations, links, or industry developments. In any case, it should be a better edition than what can be found on the blog. And that’s a reason for blog readers to purchase it.
- They want the bonus content. Also if you followed my advice here on the blog or in my book, you created a content plan that included some material that you did not publish in your blogged book. In other words, you kept some juicy content only for the printed or digital book (or both) but you did not blog this material. Your blog readers will want to read this material; it provides an enticement for them to purchase your book!
- They want a way to read the blogged book more easily. Reading a whole book on a blog is not so easy. It’s one thing if you’ve been reading the book all along as the blogger blogs it. Then you simply show up every day or a few days a week to read the new post (or installment). But if you show up half way through the book blogging, you have to find your way to the begining (especially if the blogger didn’t create a good navigation system). Remember, blogs are organized in reverse chronological order. The most recent post (the last one written) is always the first one. To get to the beginning of the book, you have to find the first post written, which is buried deep in the blog. Of course, an archive will help as will a table of contents, but still. It can feel like a pain to a reader to read the whole book this way. How much easier to simply buy a book!
- They want to hold the book in their hands. Last, but not least, some people simply want to read a book the old fashioned way. They want to get away from the computer and read a “real” book. They will appreciate that your blogged book has been turned into a printed book–and they will purchase it. For those who prefer digital reading devices–and holding those in their hands, they will be happy to have your blogged book as an ebook–links and all. By all means, don’t forget these readers, who make up a huge part of the reading population these days.
Now, take a deep breath and relax. Then let this thought drift into your head: Blogging a book is a really, really good idea. You can write, publish and promote your book all at the same time. And when you’re done, you’ll have lots of fans ready and waiting to purchase the printed and digital editions of your book.
Now go back to blogging your book.
If you live in N. California, attend this one-time-only small group workshop in the Santa Cruz Mountains on How to Blog Your Way to a Book Deal on October 27. Space limited to 10; only 5 spots left as of 10/16. Learn the basics of blogging a book and start blogging yours!