Most blogs commonly include an “About” page. Typically, this page describes the blog, the blogger or both. When you blog a book, however, consider including an “About This Book” page. The content you provide on this page alerts your readers to the fact you actually are blogging a book and not just blogging. It also helps point them to the book.
It’s not uncommon for a new visitor to show up at your blog and not realize you are blogging a book. This can happen, for instance, if you have not included a table of contents for your blog in a prominent place or if you don’t make reference to the fact that you are blogging a book anywhere in your posts or anywhere on your banner or sidebars. It can also be difficult for readers to know you are blogging a book if you do so rather seamlessly or if you only add posts to the book on certain days while blogging about other things or including guest posts on other days. An About This Book page can remedy this problem.
I’ve seen all sorts of About this Book pages. Some of them even have different names but serve the same purpose. The book blogs that don’t have one, however, are missing a great opportunity to broadcast to the world that a book is actually being written one post at a time in cyberspace. One of the primary reasons you blog a book is to promote it. Why miss one more chance to do so?
What to Include on an About This Book Page
- A pitch—It’s a good idea to hone your idea into an elevator speech or pitch, an easily understood statement that tells someone about your book—or, more accurately, answers the question, “What’s in it for me?” Not only can you use this to explain to potential readers why they should read your blogged book (and later buy the printed or ebook version), it’s a great way to let agents and acquisitions editors know this as well—should they stop by to check out your site. A pitch of 50 words or less that explains what audience you are targeting and the benefits your book will provide to that market is one of your best marketing tools.
- A description of your book—This is a longer version of your pitch, possibly a paragraph or two long that expands on the benefits you mentioned in your pitch. It might also discuss what all will be covered in your book. It is focused on the target market. If you are writing a novel, this could be a short synopsis.
- Your table of contents—The table of contents gives your book structure and offers a bird’s eye view of what a reader will find inside its pages (or posts). Posting your table of contents here (without all the posts) allows potential readers of your blogged book to get an even deeper sense of whether or not they feel your book has something to offer them—any added value for their lives. You can link to your actual table of contents page. If you don’t have one, you could create a full table of contents for your blogged book here (including links to all posts).
- Your mission statement—most writers, especially those who write nonfiction, feel a sense of purpose. Your book adopts that purpose as well. If you tell readers why you feel compelled to write your book, they may relate to that purpose and feel compelled to read your blogged book. They will definitely gain an understanding of why you are writing the book and how you want to help them, if you are writing nonfiction.
- A one-page proposal (or a link to one)—If a literary agent and publisher happen to stop by, you will want them to know you are serious about publishing your book. Even if you don’t have a full proposal available, you can provide the basis in the form of a short document. This doesn’t have to appear right on the About This Book page, but you can link to it. This document would include you pitch, information on your target market, your bio (very brief), why the book is timely, and brief platform and promotion statements. (If you need help with a proposal, you can get help here.)
- Information on publication—You also can include information on book deals, release dates, etc. Keep readers apprised of the most recent developments with your book here, even offer a mailing list form so they can subscribe to be kept updated.
As you can see, you can fill the About This Book page with a huge amount of useful information that will help you inform readers that you are blogging a book and tell them why they would want to read it. Keep in mind that as they read this page they are thinking one thing: What’s in it for me? Make sure the content you provide on this page answers that question, and you will gain readers—and later book buyers. If it’s clear to readers how they will gain benefit from reading your blogged book, agents and editors will see that as well.
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