I love producing short books fast, and I often teach workshops on this topic. Writers get very excited about becoming a published author in under a month. What better time to try writing and publishing a short book fast than during what I have decided to call National Book Blogging Month (NaBoBloMo). As I said at the beginning of the month, the challenge is to blog a book in a month. You can even still do that if you are starting now.
If you are like me, sometimes it’s impossible to find the time or the energy to write long—long posts or long books. You want to write a book, but turning out 200-250 pages seems like too big a project to tackle. You might find this especially true when you want to get something done in, say, 30 days, like during NaBoBLoMo. Rather than have this stop you from even starting, begin a smaller book project.
Short books can be anywhere from 16 to 100 pages in length. Fast and much less intimidating to produce, you even can create them out of repurposed material, such as blog posts, e-zine articles or sections of books. But it’s easier to just blog them from scratch. Today, let’s look at how to blog the easiest short book of them all: a tip book. This is something you easily still can blog over the next 20 days if you are just joining NaBoBloMo, for instance.
A tip book usually features a list of 10-101 tips. Normally, you find one per page, but I’ve seen some tip books that are just long lists of tips with many per page. Each tip might be just a sentence long or you can include a paragraph or two of explanation. This determines the how many are included on the page. I prefer the type that has a tip highlighted at the top of the page with a brief explanation.
Writing a tip book is pretty simple. Just compose a list of tips about something you know a lot about. To start, pick a topic. to do so, ask yourself:
- In what area or subject am I an expert?
- What problem have I solved?
Can you tell people 20 ways to keep a gophers from eating their plants or offer 50 tips for baking better muffins? Do you know 30 ways to save money on taxes or 100 ways to generate more business leads? If so, you’re an expert on that topic and can write a tip book. For example, you might write 50 Tips for Faster Housecleaning, 101 Tips for Baking Better Bread or 99 Tips for Sewing Sensational Prom Dresses.
If you prefer, you can create a step book, such as 20 Steps Toward Better Child Rearing or 50 Steps for a Better Blog. You can also call your tips or steps “ways,” as in 10 Ways to Help Your ADHD Child.
If you create a simple design even in Microsoft Word and a nice cover, a printer with a booklet press or Kinko’s can print this very inexpensively for you using saddle stitching (staples). Depending upon the page count and size of the book, you might even be able to produce these as print on demand (POD) books; if you design it as a small-sized book your page count will go up and your can produce a normal perfect-bound paper back book.
Blogging a tip book will only take you as long as the number of tips (or steps or ways) you choose to include. 50 tips, 50 days—unless you publish more posts per day or more tips per post.
If you missed the announcement, you can win a free, signed copy of How to Blog a Book by participating in NaBoBloMo. Here’s how. Write a post a day and get at least a 7,500-word manuscript completed in a month. That’s a 250-word post per day (or a longer post 5 days per week). Here are the rules/requirements: Send in your 7,500-word manuscript with a table of contents, a 50-word pitch, and an overview of the book (synopsis). It must arrive by 12 p.m. 4/30/12 Pacific Time. Email it to me at nina (at) ninaamir (dot) com.