Joel Friedlander used the term “book my blog” when he published his book A Self-Publisher’s Companion. Similar to Nina Amir’s How to Blog a Book concept in a “which came first, the chicken or the egg” (i.e. the book concept or the blog), sort of way, both ideas ultimately suggest turning blog posts into a book.
If you plan to use your blog posts for a book right from the get go as Nina suggests in her book and on her blog How to Blog a Book, you may be able to avoid the issues in the list below because you can write your posts to avoid these pitfalls. But, if you decide to utilize your posts as content for a book after they are written as Joel did, be mindful of the following:
- References to dates and times: It’s easy when you’re blogging to say something like “yesterday I read about…” or “at lunch today I thought about…” or “did you see that article this week about…” In your blog post these sort of references have context but in your book they won’t work, at least not without some tweaking. Try “I read about…” or “I thought about…” or “did you see the article about…” These may not be the best examples but I think they make the point.
- Hyperlinks: If you’re publishing an e-book, the hyperlinks from your blog posts are likely to transition without too much difficulty. You should, of course, verify that the links are still active and working correctly. If you plan to publish a print book, however, proceed with caution. I’m currently reading a print book copy of The Art of Social Media by Guy Kawasaki and Peg Fitzpatrick. This book is a classic example of, in my opinion, what not to do with hyperlinks in a print book. There are numerous mentions in the book like this one: “Here’s a directory of LinkedIn groups.” The underlining implies that there was, once upon a time, a hyperlink, and presumably these hyperlinks still exist in the e-book version of The Art of Social Media. It is both frustrating and disappointing that some effort wasn’t made to type out the URL for these links. If the example above had been re-written to something like “A directory of LinkedIn groups can be found here: URL-goes-here” and the URL had been hyperlinked, it could have worked for both e-book and print book versions. Without the URLs it feels very much like being left out of the loop and several of the Amazon reviews for the book echo this sentiment. For your book, forewarned is forearmed, right? Keep all of your readers happy and avoid this.
Note: Despite the absence of URLs in the print book, The Art of Social Media is a good read if you’re looking for ideas and inspiration to get started with social media, or expand your social media reach.
- References to past or future posts: Often if a blog post subject is complex, it can be split over multiple blog posts. Watch for references to previous or upcoming posts on the subject like “Booking Your Blog – Part 2”.
These issues can be corrected if you opt to convert your blog posts into a book and should be caught during editing.
Can you think of any other considerations when converting your blog posts to a book? If so, tell us in the comments.