An enormous amount of people have the desire to become authors. In fact, 81 percent of all Americans say someday they will write a book, but someday only arrives for about two percent of that population.
More and more people become bloggers each year, not necessarily because they have dreams of becoming authors. In fact, currently you can find 1,302,286 different blogs cataloged on Technorati.com, an aggregator of blogs.
Each time those bloggers write a post and hit “publish,” however, they become both authors and independent publishers. In a survey conducted by Technorati last year, 61 percent of the respondents said they spend more than three hours blogging each week and 33 percent said they update their blog at least once a day. That means they write consistently; some have a daily writing practice, whether they call it that or not. That’s more than can be said of a lot of would-be authors.
Blogging a Book is Quick
Most blog posts are short, usually just about a computer screen’s worth of copy or so. That’s 250-350words, 500 words tops. If you are a fast writer, you can write a post in about 30 minutes to an hour.
If you blogged an average of 350 words a day for 52 weeks, you would write 127,400 words. That’s two decently sized books in one year. And you’d only need to commit to one hour per day (or less) of writing time to accomplish this goal. You could write one book in six months.
Bloggers “Book” Blogs
A lot of people realize they have produced a book’s worth of content—or more—after they’ve been blogging a while. They then decide to repurpose their posts into a book. This is super idea that author and designer Joel Friedlander calls “booking” a blog. It can be time consuming, though and overwhelming if you have a lot of content.
Or their blog becomes wildly popular, and they get “discovered” by an agent or publisher and offered a book deal based on their blog. The most famous blog-to-book story is, of course, Julie Powell whose blog ended up the bestselling book and movie Julie & Julia. But there are many more, like Pamela Slim’s Escape from Cubicle Nation: From Corporate Prisoner to Thriving Entrepreneur, Brett McKay’s The Art of Manliness: Classic Skills and Manners for the Modern Man, Christian Lander’s Stuff White People Like, The Definitive Guide to the Unique Taste of Millions, and more recently Martha Alderson’s The Plot Whisperer, Jill Smokler’s Confessions of a Scary Mommy, Dmitry Samarov’s Hack, and Jill Abramson’s The Puppy Diaries.
None of these bloggers set out to blog a book. They simply blogged and created a popular blog in the process. Then they went back and booked their blogs.
Writers Blog Books
If you are an aspiring author, you can do better. You can blog a book. In so doing, you can move into the two percent club—write your book—and do it quickly and easily. Simply decide to write a blog post a day, but not just any blog post. Write a blog post that is one part of your manuscript. Here’s how:
After spending some time actually evaluating your idea to decide if it is marketable and unique, map out your book’s content. Once you have a table of contents and an idea of what material will fill each chapter, break this material down into post-sized bits. The easiest way to do this is to write a headline for each post. (Think of these almost like subheads.)
You can also use questions if you are writing nonfiction. For fiction and memoir, write titles for each scene. Next, decide how often you will post on your blog; the more often the better. Then commit to writing and publishing a post—a small bit of your book—that often. Create a manuscript off-line at the same time, though, so you have a document to edit later. Continue writing and posting on your schedule, and you will create a book and a readership for your blogged book.
When you are done blogging your book, edit the manuscript and self-publish it. Or submit a book proposal to a traditional publishing house—if you weren’t found by a publisher along the way. And, of course, you can keep on blogging—and blog another book.
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