You’ve already written your book, but you want to test the market or build an author platform before release by blogging it. How do you take your completed manuscript and break it down into 300- to 500-word pieces—blog posts—when you wrote it to flow as one continuous chapter after another?
I continue to get an amazing number of queries about blogging existing manuscripts. Therefore, I’m going to offer some advice on accomplishing that feat—despite the fact that I’ve stated here that I don’t recommend this process for blogging books. That’s right. I don’t suggest you do what I’m going to tell you to do in this blog post. I suggest you blog a book from scratch. But, since so many people still want to blog their existing manuscripts, and I have done it, I’ll offer some tips based on my own experience.
7 Tips for Blogging a Competed Manuscript
- Be open to revision. You likely will find it impossible to just cut blog-post sized bits of content from your existing manuscript and paste them into a post. Unless you wrote in short bits and pieces, you will have to create short sections by rewriting.
- Create introductions or conclusions. The sections you select from your chapters were not written as standalone pieces, or posts. Thus, you will need to addd transitions into and out of the content. This helps readers understand the context without the flow of the chapter.
- Decide what content to leave unpublished. Your manuscript includes your whole book. A blogged book leaves 20 to 30 percent unpublished (off the blog). You need to go through the manuscript and determine what content you will “cut” from the blogged version.
- Create two versions of your manuscript. This is sort of obvious, but make a duplicate copy of your completed manuscript. Use this to cut, revise, alter for use on the blog. Then you won’t accidentally change your final manuscript.
- Follow the structure of your manuscript. When you blog a book, you logically proceed from post to post, linking back and forth and moving from concept to concept. Readers tend to come along with you. When you blog an existing manuscript, follow the same path, or use the same structure, as your manuscript. This helps readers follow the book from start to finish.
- Don’t make assumptions. Don’t assume blog readers understand anything. Be sure all necessary information is on the blog, especially if you’ve made cuts form the original manuscript.
- Edit the completed manuscript. Use this process to edit your existing manuscript. Blogging an existing manuscript provides another chance for you to read through your manuscript, and you do it this time from a different perspective—through the eyes of a blog reader.
If you insist on blogging your completed manuscript, put these tips to use. You’ll have more success if you do. And let me know how the process works for you; add your tips in a comment below.
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