If you haven’t noticed, I’m blogging bits of my next book, The Author Training Manual (Writer’s Digest Books, 2014), here on this blog. Now, why would I do that? And why would my publisher want me to do that?
Let me explain.
Blogging a Book is a Good Idea
First, the concept of blogging a book, writing, publishing and promoting it one post at a time on your blog, is a good one, which is why Writer’s Digest purchased my book, How to Blog a Book, in 2011. When you blog a book, you write, publish and promote your work one post at a time. You effectively get your book written while building a readership for it. In other words, you create your author platform at the same time.
Successful Blogs are Successfully Test-Marketed Ideas
Second, the concept of blogging a book relates to the reason so many bloggers have landed book deals. Publishers see successful blogs (ones with many readers or subscribers) as successfully test-marketed book ideas. Lots of blog readers or subscribers equates to potential book readers or buyers. They are more willing to take a risk on those ideas than on ones that have not been test marketed—yes, even though the material has been “published” elsewhere. If you read my book, you will discover that you can actually plan out your content in such a way that you have some new content left over to entice both readers and publishers. Planning out your content and writing it on your blog is easier and more effective than trying to repurpose existing blog content, which is called booking a blog (not blogging a book).
You Can Blog Your Way to a Book Deal…and a Successful Book
Third, the fact that my blogged book, How to Blog a Book, was purchased by a publisher proves that you can, in fact, blog your way to a book deal. And you can do this consciously by writing your book on your blog rather than trying to go back and repurpose blog content you wrote with no intention of ever writing a book.
However, maybe more important is the fact that my book has performed well. Therefore, my publisher was eager for me to see if I could repeat this performance, and so he agreed to me blogging the next book for this reason. Since its release in late April 2012, How to Blog a Book:
- Has remained on 1-3 bestseller (Top 100) lists—authorship, blogging & blogs and website design—in the ebook or print book categories (most often in both) daily at Amazon.
- Went into a second printing after only 8 months although the publisher thought the inventory would last a year.
- Has achieved a return rate of only 7 percent when the industry standard is 20-40 percent and the publisher’s average is 15 percent; this caused the publisher to dub me “a Spiderman among authors” because my book has “sticking power.”
- Continues to sell more than the average number of books per week in its category, keeping it in the running with other bestsellers and me in the running with other bestselling authors.
Although we could attribute this success solely to a great idea and good post-release promotion, the fact that the book was blogged—had good pre-release promotion—had something to do with it, we’re sure. We could see fluctuations in the Bookscan chart on my Amazon Author Central Account long before the book was released. When the experts at Writer’s Digest Books analyzed this activity they deduced that every time I wrote a blog post, it sent readers—buyers—to Amazon. The activity we were seeing was presales even though the sales had not yet gone through the registers.
Why Blog Readers Buy Blogged Books
Fourth, your blog readers will purchase your book once it’s published. You might wonder if my publisher is worried that my blog readers, like you, won’t buy The Author Training Manual, once it’s published since I will have published parts of it here. No, he isn’t worried, nor am I. As I shared in this post on my blog, How to Blog a Book, there are five reasons blog readers will purchase a blogged book:
- They want a souvenir from their favorite blog and blogger.
- They want the new, improved edition of the book.
- They want the bonus content.
- They want a way to read the blogged book more easily.
- They want to hold the book in their hands.
(Read the whole post here.)
I suggest you try blogging a book if you want to produce a successful book—or test market your idea to see if it has a chance of succeeding. Write your book and promote it at the same time. Build that platform–built-in readership–you need to reach as many potential readers as possible once your book is released—but do it as you write—blog—your book. If you want to find out how, you can read the first draft of How to Blog a Book here. Or you can purchase the entire finished manuscript (with two additional chapters and lots more content than you will find on the blog) here.
Let me offer you one last reason to blog a book: A blog serves as the center point of all your social media activities. You need a blog. So why not work smarter rather than harder? Blog your book.
New Blog-to-Book Small Group Coaching Session beginning in March
(Hey…that’s NEXT WEEK!) at a NEW DAY AND TIME!
Now on Mondays at 5 p.m. PST.
Register soon to reserve your spot.
Just 5 book bloggers accepted into the group.
Click on this link to get more info and to register.
Photo courtesy of cogal | istockphoto.com
Amanda Socci says
Finally, I have understood the difference between blogging a book and booking a blog. Got it. The reasons for blogging a book by posting blog posts one at a time are written beautifully and concisely. Makes perfect sense why blogging a book would be an attractive option for hose (like me) hoping to build a platform.