From blog to book – a sensible approach to completing a book

22
222
completing a book one post at a time

Nina Amir – writing coach, author, and extreme blogger – shares inspiring ideas that might make you think about completing a book one blog post at a time.

Every author, or soon to be author, who reads this blog knows one indisputable fact: completing a book is hard work. Blood, sweat and tears flow – and that’s just to get through chapter one. Yet there’s really no other route to the publishing finish line, save hiring a ghost writer or having your last name be Kardashian.

completing a book one post at a timeOr is there an easier way? Publishing expert Nina Amir thinks so, and after reading her book, How to Blog a Book: How to Write, Publish and Promote Your Work One Post at a Time, I do too.

Full disclosure: I have the privilege of interviewing a lot of great authors in my role as president of BookBaby. But I seldom have time to read much of their writings. Nina’s book has been an exception to this rule. Why? Because her ideas to write a book using the power of blog posts makes just too much sense to me!

This summer, as I approached the start to writing my next book (you can get my first book, The End – Now What?! free by clicking here), I wondered how I was going to find the time in my busy work and home schedule to get it done by the end of the year. Running out of ticks on the clock has stopped many a promising novel or book from even being started – let alone completed.

That’s no excuse says Nina, who is (take a deep breath) a nonfiction editor, consultant, and writing/book/blogging/author coach. She hosts five blogs, including Write Nonfiction NOW!, How to Blog a Book and As the Spirit Moves Me, pens two national columns AND speaks weekly about writing and publishing on a radio show.

“The thing that stops the majority of aspiring authors is that writing a book seems so overwhelming,” says Nina, who manages to also find the time to be a voice dialogue facilitator and currently is working on her life coaching certificate. “The project is too big, too hard, and I just don’t have enough time.”

Sounds familiar. So how does Nina recommend you start? By creating a website and featuring a blog.

Wait. If I don’t have time to write, how could I possibly have the time to write and maintain a blog?

“Every successful author is going to need a website, and really, a blog is a website all by itself,” says Nina. In fact her website says it all: Blogging provides the quickest and easiest way to write a book. You can blog your way to a book deal or to a successfully self-published book, one post at a time.

“It’s a completely doable process for writing a book, although it’s easier with non-fiction than fiction,” says Nina. “It’s chunking your book down to bite-sized bits. Blog post-sized, if you will. That means writing 300 to 500 words a day – two pages – worth. Most people, if they focus, can do that in an hour or two.”

“If you think about it, that’s an average of 400 words a day. If 70,000 words is a good sized non-fiction book, that’s about six months,” says Nina. “You could, in theory, blog two books a year if you’re dedicated. If you want to do short books, you can be blogging a book every couple of months.”

The process of writing your book “in public” on your personal blog is what makes Nina’s method appealing to me. Her method isn’t necessarily writing the book, chapter by chapter, in successive posts. (“That’s serialization,” she notes.) Her approach is a few steps upstream in the writing process.

“It’s a strategy and tactic. You’re planning and writing the book at the same time,” she says. “Breaking down your thoughts into post-sized bites. Not writing chapters out but breaking them down into, say, 10 sub headings that translate into blog posts.”

By trotting out ideas in front of your blog readers, you can actually improve your book on the fly, according to Nina. “You have real readers following your blog, and that’s so much better than beta readers,” she says. “These are people interested in your topic. You’re hitting your exact target market, and if you watch the statistics on your site, it can reveal things about your content.”

Of course, writing is only half the battle for self-published authors.

“Authors have been given the message that self publishing is easy and is a fast route to being a successful author,” says Nina. “That’s just not the way it is. I’m all for having positive thoughts and having a vision, but too many authors don’t realize that without the marketing, they won’t sell books.”

And that’s where your blog comes into play again.

“I started blogging my book at a higher pace than maybe most folks, like five to seven times a week. I put a ton of content on the blog. You can’t just do this one time a week or month,” says Nina.

It wasn’t search engine optimization wizardry or tricks that brought traffic to her blog. “It’s simple really. You have to be focused in on your topic,” says Nina. “The more consistently you blog, the more chances you have of Google finding your content, and cataloging the keywords and search terms that bring people to you. “

Nina advises each post to be between 300 and 700 words to attract search engine attention. “I did this for five months, and by month four I had the number one search spot on Google for my topic,” she says.

Nina’s book offers a wealth of tips, ideas, and – for me – inspiration to get going.

Sure enough, I’ve launched my own website and blog (authormarketer.com) and I’m kicking off book number two next month!

P.S. – Nina will be our guest for the August edition of our monthly #BBchat Twitter chat. Sign up here to get a reminder!

 

The End

 

Read More
How To keep Blogging Simple – 5 Tips For Authors
Blogging Tips For Authors: How To Generate New Blog Ideas
How To “Blog A Book” And Become A Successful Author (An Interview With Nina Amir)
11 Articles That Will Inspire You To Finish Your Next Book
Finishing Your Novel: How To Know When You’re Done Writing Your Book

 

Steven Spatz

About Steven Spatz

Steven Spatz has written 118 posts in this blog.

Steven Spatz is a writer, marketer, and the President of BookBaby, the nation’s leading self publishing services company. Spatz’s professional writing career began at age 13, paid by the word to bang out little league baseball game stories on an ancient manual typewriter for southern Oregon weekly newspapers. His journalism career continued after graduation from the University of Oregon at several daily newspapers in Oregon. When his family took over a direct marketing food business, Spatz redirected his writing and design skills into producing catalogs. The Pinnacle Orchards catalog was named "Best Food Catalog," received dozens of other national awards, and the business grew into one of the nation’s largest gourmet fruit gift businesses. After the company was sold, Spatz continued his direct marketing career with Fortune 500 companies including Mattel and Hasbro. He joined AVL Digital in 2004 to lead the direct-to-consumer marketing teams for music industry-leading brands Disc Makers, Oasis, and CD Baby. After serving as Chief Marketing Officer, Spatz was tapped to lead the company’s new publishing division in late 2014. In 2019, the AVL Digital Management team purchased the New Jersey brands, including BookBaby. The company is headquartered in Pennsauken, NJ (just outside Philadelphia, PA) and meets the printed book and eBook needs of thousands of self-publishing authors around the globe. Spatz lives in Glenside, PA with his two children, a demented cat, and some well-used bicycles. Steven loves to hear from authors, editors, and publishers in the BookBaby community with tales of publishing trials and triumphs. To tell him your story, write to steven@bookbaby.com.

Steven Spatz
Steven Spatz is a writer, marketer, and the President of BookBaby, the nation’s leading self publishing services company. Spatz’s professional writing career began at age 13, paid by the word to bang out little league baseball game stories on an ancient manual typewriter for southern Oregon weekly newspapers. His journalism career continued after graduation from the University of Oregon at several daily newspapers in Oregon. When his family took over a direct marketing food business, Spatz redirected his writing and design skills into producing catalogs. The Pinnacle Orchards catalog was named "Best Food Catalog," received dozens of other national awards, and the business grew into one of the nation’s largest gourmet fruit gift businesses. After the company was sold, Spatz continued his direct marketing career with Fortune 500 companies including Mattel and Hasbro. He joined AVL Digital in 2004 to lead the direct-to-consumer marketing teams for music industry-leading brands Disc Makers, Oasis, and CD Baby. After serving as Chief Marketing Officer, Spatz was tapped to lead the company’s new publishing division in late 2014. In 2019, the AVL Digital Management team purchased the New Jersey brands, including BookBaby. The company is headquartered in Pennsauken, NJ (just outside Philadelphia, PA) and meets the printed book and eBook needs of thousands of self-publishing authors around the globe. Spatz lives in Glenside, PA with his two children, a demented cat, and some well-used bicycles. Steven loves to hear from authors, editors, and publishers in the BookBaby community with tales of publishing trials and triumphs. To tell him your story, write to steven@bookbaby.com.

22 COMMENTS

  1. Thanks so much for this awesome post! And I’m thrilled that the interview and the book inspired you! Maybe I need to interview you at this point to hear our success story and share it with my readers, Steven.

  2. Hi Nina!

    I was on that webinar you did where you went over this stuff. It was really informative and I learned a lot. You had a guide and some templates you showed us that make doing all of the blog your book stuff look really easy. Can you tell me where to get that?

  3. One thing author’s should keep in mind. If you are determined to self-publish, this article seems to be fine.
    But, and here’s a big ‘but’ if somewhere along the line you decide that maybe you want to go traditional and seek out a publisher, you may be beyond being able to make that decision. For many publishers will not consider previously published work, which includes any form of publication electronically, like on your blog or website.

  4. What happens to copy-write when publishing on a blog, and then later taking these blog posts to publish a book? Is there any ownership problem with the material having been posted publicly before?

  5. This makes infinite sense to me, and I can see it working well for non-fiction. Any thoughts on how the concept might be applied to someone attempting to complete a novel?

  6. Hey, like the idea, really makes perfect sense… for non-fiction. I’m a little less sold on the idea for fiction. But maybe it’s not so different… maybe you could expand on that for us? Know of any authors who have used the same technique to pick up not just a decent readership but a publishing deal that makes the author some money?

  7. I have over 750 short blogs that Loulou, my French kitty, has written on subjects ranging from sex to politics to family feuds to falling in love to gay rights to animal protection to vegetarianism vs carnivores to whatever subject you can possibly imagine and I will definitely see to it that she reads these suggestions on how to make her blog in to a book. I am an author and have told her that she has to do it herself, NOW, and edit and compile her book herself, so she’s on it as we speak and thank you for the inspiration!!!

    Thank you from me, too.
    Loulou

  8. I was enjoying reading your blog above until I reached this sentence: Wait. If I don’t time to write, how could I possibly have the time to write and maintain a blog?…see anything wrong with that sentence? lol….I hate when people point out my typos or misspelled words also.

    Your email got my attention because of the name of your blog/book…the NOW WHAT? part, because I have a similar book out there with the title, Born With a Veil, Now What?…many people love that part of my title…just so you know…not a bad idea to ask a question of the readers, huh? lol

    Anyway…I will read your book because I totally agree with your first few sentences (journalism 101)…..as it should….I am having such a hell of a time getting this second book written! Any little excuse turns me away from writing! So, will be happy to see what this blog/book thing is, Lord knows I am tired of typing! lol

    Lots of literary luck to ya!…and thanks!
    DEE

  9. Writing. My. First non fictional. Book. Very excited and. Motivated. Will in. Too learn. How. To promote. And enspire others. As well…

  10. This article was shared with me by a friend at the perfect time! Discouraged about what to do with my blog and how to promote my writing. This was what I needed to get a fresh perspective! Thank you!!

  11. […] Nina Amir, author of The Author Training Manual and How to Blog a Book: How to Write, Publish and Promote Your Work One Post at a Time, will be our guest for the August edition of #BBchat. Nina is a nonfiction editor, book proposal and blogging consultant, blog-to-book coach, and book and author coach with more than 33 years of experience in the publishing field. She holds a BA in magazine journalism with a concentration in psychology, has edited or written for more than 50 publications producing hundreds of articles, and had her work published in five anthologies. She has also self-published over ten books, and maintains four blogs. To learn more about Nina, please visit ninaamir.com. […]

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.