Many successful bloggers have gone on to turn their blogs into books. For example, Bryan Collins produced The Art of Writing a Non-Fiction Book, Larry Brooks compiled Story Engineering, and Joel Friedlander created The Self-Publisher’s Companion. Maybe you, too, dream about becoming a renowned author and increasing your reach with a published book, but is authorship right for you or your blog?
Let’s look at the pros and cons of turning your blog into a book.
The Blog-to-Book Process
First, let’s discuss precisely what is meant by “turning your blog into a book.” The books mentioned above are booked blogs rather than blogged books. To book a blog, you must have an established blog. Although you likely began publishing posts with no intention of writing a book, you might later decide you want to turn your blog content into a book. That’s when you book your blog.
The opposite approach is called blogging a book. When you blog a book, you pre-plan the content of your book and then write and publish it post by post on your blog. Blogging a book is an intentional blogging and book manuscript creation process, not an afterthought of blogging.
The Pros of Booking a Blog
1. No need to start from scratch.
One of the obvious benefits of booking your blog is that you don’t have to start a book manuscript from scratch. You already have some of the content—blog posts previously written and published. However, you may still need to add more content to complete the manuscript.
So, booking a blog is not as simple as copying and pasting. But at least you have done some of the writing work beforehand.
2. Expand your audience.
Booking your blog widens your audience. To date, your audience consists of blog readers. A book goes beyond your blog readership.
Of course, how far you expand your audience has a lot to do with the success of your book, and that most likely will be the result of a healthy marketing plan. (Make sure to develop one!)
If you have a traditional publisher, the staff might help get your book noticed. Unfortunately, this isn’t always the case. Typically, the you do most of the marketing no matter how you publish.
But if your blog has filled a need in the market, your readers will buy the related book. And the book may develop a global readership. Even if it sells moderately well, you will expand your reach beyond your blog.
3. Earn passive income.
Another pro to booking your blog is the potential for passive income. Be prepared to make very little at first. It takes time to get the word out and get people to purchase your book, especially if you self-publish. However, over time, you might find that you earn at least a little bit every month from book sales.
Plus, a book can lead to other products, such as membership programs and courses. These can provide additional passive income streams.
Cons of Booking Your Blog
1. Booking a blog takes time.
Turning your existing blog into a book takes considerable time and effort. It’s not necessarily a shortcut to becoming an author.
Because you are working with existing content not initially meant for a book, you have to find the relevant posts, edit them, organize them, determine what additional content you need, and make all of the pieces fit and flow together. Plus, you still need to write the new, currently unwritten or published content.
Be prepared to edit and re-edit. When you are done with your revisions, hire a professional editor to complete the editing process.
2. It’s difficult to land a traditional book deal.
Although you’ve probably heard the stories about bloggers who landed book deals, not every blogger has literary agents or publishers knocking on the door. In fact, it can be difficult and frustrating to find an agent or publisher, especially if your blog has not attracted a large following. The process is generally long and tedious, which is why self-publishing has become so popular.
Landing a traditional publishing deal requires a literary agent in most cases, and even that first step can prove challenging. Self-publishing, on the other hand, is not for everyone and requires that you take on the role of publisher. You will need to work with designers, distributors, and learn how to upload your book to Amazon. All these tasks take time.
3. Book sales depend on you.
No matter how you publish your book, it’s primarily up to you—the author—to market it. Of course, you have built a platform with your blog, and that will help sell books. But publishing is a highly competitive endeavor—even if you self-publish—and many factors affect sales.
There is never a guarantee of sales from a traditional publisher. The publishing company takes a more significant risk than you since they pay for the production and distribution of your book. You might receive some money upfront in the form of an advance, but even that doesn’t mean people will buy the book.
There are millions of self-published and traditionally published books, and many authors only sell a handful of copies. You might have better odds of success with a traditional publisher that can place your books in bookstores, which puts it in front of more potential readers.
And if it’s income you want from the book, a course or membership program that delivers the same content might be a safer bet. But if you want clients, a book can turn you into an authority, and that does, indeed attract prospects.
Weigh the Pros and Cons
In the end, you have to weigh the pros and cons of turning your blog into a book. It does, indeed, take time and effort—even money—to turn random posts into a cohesive manuscript and, ultimately, a published book. And there’s no sure bet no matter which publishing route you choose.
However, your book can turn into the best business card you ever hand out. It can result in expert status, increased business or income, and opportunities only offered to authors.
Plus, if you want to be an author, booking your blog simply may make good sense. And holding your book in your hands may be all the reward you need.
Most of all, a book provides a tangible representation of your work as a blogger. And book takes your message offline and allows you to share your work in another way with new readers.
Have you booked your blog…or considered doing so? Tell me in a comment below. And please share this post with any bloggers who might find it useful.
About the Author
Beth Bauer is a freelance writer, travel blogger, yoga instructor, and entrepreneur currently working on her third novel. She has traveled to over 20 countries in just the last two years and enjoys life as a digital nomad. She is originally from the Pacific Northwest of the U.S.A., and when she’s home lives on the Long Beach Peninsula with her dog, Ozzie.
Photo courtesy of dmvasilenko77