Today I ran into a woman I’ve known for a long time. We aren’t great friends, but our kids used to dance together. We’ve been connected on Facebook for a number of years mostly because of the kids. However, we both had Examiner.com columns. What I didn’t realize was that she also had a blog where she had shared her struggle with breast cancer.
As she was about to leave she mentioned that she wanted to purchase my book and see if her blog content might be worthy of a book. A conversation ensued about if what she had written about her experience was unique enough to publication in another form.
That’s the big question for anyone booking a blog or blogging a book. It’s the thing that makes a blog worthy of a book, as I wrote about in my last post. In this case, I told her, “Lot’s of women have struggled with and survived breast cancer. The question is if your story is different or has something new to offer–or if you have some advice or support to offer that is some how different.”
“Well, it’s raw…that’s for sure,” she said. “People tell me it helps them know what having breast cancer is really like and what to expect.”
“That’s something,” I replied.
Then I offered this advice, which I would offer to anyone, and which I offered before early on when I blogged How to Blog a Book: “Check out competing books in your category–books by other breast cancer suvivors or those who have gone through breast cancer. See how yours is different or unique. In other words, do a comparative study.”
The trick here is to discover how your book will fill a hole on the book shelf, so to speak. To do this, go to Amazon.com or to a book store and look at those similar books. Determine how:
- you or your experience or expertise differs form the other authors.
- your content differs
- your angle differs
- your point of view differs
- the added value differs
- the story differs
- the questions you answer or solutions you offer differ
- the length differs
- the general approach differs
- the market differs
With this information, you can decide if your blogged book or booked blog will be unique. If it isn’t, you need to rethink the project.
Don’t forget to apply this process to the blogosphere. Check out the other blogs that are out there as well and see how your blogged book or booked blog differs from the blogs being written on the same topic. And how do they rank? Do they have more readers than your blog? Are they more likely to land a book deal because of that? The blog with the most readers and the most unique angle–or the angle that appeals to the most readers–wins (sells the most books).
Amanda Socci says
This is perhaps the most inspirational blog I have yet to find. I am absolutely tickled to have learned the perfect terminology to describe what I started doing back in March 2012, by writing blog posts on faith with the intention to eventually turn the blog posts into a book.
I love this blog post because you talk about a “comparative study” which I have heard referred to before as market analysis. I think I like your term better. I also like that you are encouraging bloggers to use this strategy in the blogosphere.
Lastly, I appreciate how you interspersed the blogged book and the booked blog, which mean two totally different things. I always learn something new from you. Thank you.
Thanks for your sweet comment. I’m glad I inspired you. This process is one necessary for anyone planning a book and it’s part of the proposal process. It’s so useful! I’m eager for the day you will write a guest post on your blogged book experience!
Jenny Hansen says
Great post, Nina!
Great post Nina!
I actually had been glancing through Amazon site to see just what was there in the dads spectrum and I definitly think I am on track to do something with what I have to offer!
Yay! You might want to purchase my book, How to Evaluate Your Book for Success…takes you through the whole proposal process to see if your idea is a good one. Available only on my website.
Jo Fonda says
Hi Nina –
That is a good checklist to keep in mind when writing each post to be sure each piece contributes to the whole.
Your book and continued blog posts on this topic are really insightful and helpful.
Thanks for the tips!
Jo, Thanks for your nice comment.
Adam Michael Luebke says
Great advice, Nina. Thank you! I’m currently researching and thinking about how to blog a book. Glad I found your site.
Good to hear! Let me know if I can help. I offer coaching and consulting.
Flora Morris Brown, Ph.D. says
You’ve given excellent points to consider when deciding if a blogged book is unique before proceeding to write and publish it.
Once the book is published, authors must be prepared to address these points again when networking, making appearances and being interviewed. As the expert on your topic, the public expects you to be familiar with other books in your niche and be able to articulate how your book differs.
Thanks for sharing this vital advice.