Many writers who discover the benefits of blogging a book after they finish writing their manuscript are tempted to put this process to use at that late date. They wonder if it will have the same positive affect and if if it’s a good idea. After doing this myself, I don’t highly recommend it.
Plus, that’s not really the point of blogging a book.
The Point of Blogging a Book
Let’s look at my last point first. You blog a book because you want to write your book as you blog, thus accomplishing several tasks at the same time. You write, publish and promote your book with each post. That’s the point of blogging a book.
If you’ve already written your manuscript, you don’t really need to blog your book—at least not to finish writing it. You may, however, still need to build a readership, or a platform, for the book. That’s something that is created as you write your book post by post.
If you choose to break your completed manuscript into post-sized bits and blog it after the fact, you may, indeed, create a platform. You might find that your blogged manuscript attracts readers in much the same fashion as a blogged book.
The 2 Reasons Not to Blog a Finished Manuscript
There are two reasons I don’t recommend blogging a completed manuscript, though:
1. You didn’t write the manuscript with the intent of blogging it. That means you now need to find or force logical breaking points in the manuscript to create blog posts. You did not write your manuscript with 300-500-word pieces in mind. Therefore, you may find you only have 1,000- or 1,500-word sections that work well as blog posts—and that they need a fair amount of revision to make them viable as blog posts. If all your posts end up this long, you’ll blog your book very quickly, which means you won’t attract many readers—first, because most readers prefer shorter posts and, second, because you’ll finish blogging the book too quickly to attract a loyal following.
2. You will not enjoy the process. The process of blogging a completed manuscript is not nearly as fun, exciting or interesting as blogging a book from scratch. You will find yourself editing and revising (which does mean you end up with a second or third draft—a good thing), struggling to find breaking points, and rereading completed work. You won’t be sitting down each day, knocking out a new post or two and feeling the rush of knowing your book is getting written. It will feel like completing a chore simply for the purpose of building readership, or platform.
Should You Blog Your Manuscript?
All that said, should you blog your manuscript? Go ahead if you feel you:
- really need platform
- want to test-market your idea
- aren’t ready to begin blogging about your book in other ways
But realize it might feel like a monotonous job and it might not achieve the same results as blogging a book from scratch.
I blogged the completed manuscript for The Author Training Manual: Develop Marketable Ideas, Craft Books That Sell, Become the Author Publishers Want, and Self-Publish Effectively, a process I did not enjoy and that did not achieve the results I desired. The posts seemed to be popular, but the book did not rise to the Amazon Top 100 immediately, which How to Blog a Book did. Nor has it stayed on the list consistently. How to Blog a Book has been an Amazon bestseller for two and a half years in three categories. It could just be the difference in the books and their content, of course, but I thought the process would achieve the same results even though I produced the manuscripts differently. I believe the posts for The Author Training Manual did not have the same impact because they were not written as posts.
You blog a book to help it succeed. That could mean that you want to attract an agent and a traditional publishing deal, or it could mean that you want to self-publish your book. In both cases, I assume you want the book to sell an above-average amount of copies because blogging a book helped you create a large and excited built-in readership. In my experience, this is harder to do with a completed manuscript than with a manuscript you create post by post on the Internet.
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