The world is changing…fast. It’s hard to even keep up with the news. So, how’s a writer supposed to share a message just as quickly? How can an aspiring nonfiction author make a difference now…not later?
Writing and publishing a book is not a weekend endeavor—despite what anyone tells you. Nor can you accomplish this goal in a month, especially if you plan to write a full-length nonfiction book rather than a short ebook. Even if you complete the first draft (or second draft) of a shorter book in a few weeks, there’s much more to be done before your book is marketplace ready.
How to Make a Difference Now
If you want to write a nonfiction book that makes a difference, you might be wondering if any other options are viable and fast. The answer is “yes.” One option meets your need to publish fast, so your message gets read almost immediately.
Write and publish blog posts.
Or blog your book. Write your manuscript post by post. Each post can then be published immediately on your website but will comprise a small portion of your book manuscript.
Writing and Publishing Take Time
Let’s take a closer look at why book publishing of any type isn’t a way to quickly share a message. Consider that writing is just the first step to becoming a published author. Then you have to revise your manuscript. An editor—sometimes two or three editors—need to review your work, and you need to address their suggested changes when they are done. After that, the manuscript needs to be turned over to a designer, who will convert it into an ebook or print book. Of course, you also need a cover, blurbs, and possibly a foreword. And don’t forget to have the final product proofread.
Depending upon your book’s length and complexity, these tasks can take at least a few weeks or even a few months. Keep in mind that the contractors you hire to help you make the project market-ready may also have busy schedules. Therefore, you might find our project delayed as they fit your project in and get it done.
If you plan to pursue traditional publishing, the time-frame for getting your book into readers’ hands is even longer. First, you need to write a book proposal. With that job complete, you need to find a literary agent willing to represent you. After that, the agent must find a publisher ready to bring the book to market. Once you’ve signed a publishing contract, it takes a year or two for the book to be released.
This can make a writer who has something important to say now…not later…feel as if publishing a book is not an effective strategy. And that might be true.
Quick to Market
But there is another way. A blog provides you with a way to quickly take a message to market. As soon as you complete a post, you can publish it on your blog. Once published, you can share the link to that post on social media or via email and reach people worldwide.
It’s that simple.
Potential readers will have access to your message within minutes of you hitting “publish.” And that means you begin making a difference from that point forward.
Drive Traffic to Your Site
Each time you share a link to a published blog post, you also effectively increase the potential of driving traffic to your site. Each person who clicks on the link you shared via email or social media ends up on your website. Once there, they may not only read the specific post you shared but other posts you’ve previously published as well.
If you have provided a way for site visitors to get on your mailing list, like with a lead magnet, you will soon have a list made up of people eager to read what you have to say. And each time you publish a post, you can quickly notify them. That means they have the opportunity to read the post not long after publication—and you have the chance to impact them positively.
Your Publishing Platform
The more traffic you manage to get to your site, the more significant becomes your author platform. Numerous successful bloggers have managed to land blog-to-book deals or land publishing contracts based on their blogs’ content.
An author platform helps you sell your book. It’s your built-in readership for your book in your target market. The more people who follow you in some way—on social media or as blog or email subscribers, the more people you can notify when your book is released.
Of course, the bigger your audience, the more people you reach with each blog post. That means an ever-increasing number of people will be impacted by your published words. In fact, many authors reach more people daily with their blogs than they do with their books.
Don’t Give Up on Book Publishing
As I said, blogging provides a faster way to share your message and make a difference. Publishing a book takes longer. But your blog can help you write—not just market—a book.
In the process of blogging your book, you develop a loyal readership for both the blog and the book.
Publishers like successful bloggers. They consider a well-trafficked blog as a successfully test-marketed book idea. That’s why literary agents and acquisitions editors often seek out successful bloggers and offer them book deals.
Blog Your Book
While you are blogging, you can also get the book written. You can plan out your book content and then write posts that correspond with that content. Each post becomes part of your book manuscript.
Think about it…
If you write and publish two 1,000-word posts per week, you will have produced at least 8,000 words by the end of one month. A full-length nonfiction book is typically 50,000 words long. So the first draft of your book manuscript would be complete in six months.
However, during that period, you will have shared your message twice per week to many, many readers. You won’t have waited until the book was published.
If you eventually self-publish your book, you can blog as much of your book content as you like. If you plan to traditionally publish the book, I suggest you blog only 50% or less. (Yes, things have changed. I no longer recommend blogging 70 to 80% of the content.)
Once you’ve published your book, you can reach a new audience: book readers. In the meantime, you can impact a vast global readership with each and every blog post. Imagine the kind of difference you can make in the process.
Are you planning to blog to share your message, or are you already making a difference as a blogger? Tell me in a comment below, and please share this post with another writer.
Photo courtesy of OpenClipart-Vectors