Booking Your Blog: A Couple of Things to Consider

Booking Your Blog: A Couple of Things to Consider discusses issues you need to be mindful of if you decide to utilize your blog posts as content for a book.

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.

Photo credit: Damesbaden, Scheveningen, Holland courtesy of The Library of Congress.

5 Ways to Get Blog Post Comments

5 Ways to Get Blog Post Comments suggests ways that bloggers can build their audiences and attract comments.

This morning I reviewed blog posts for a client’s roundup blog post. I do this fairly regularly and every so often I stumble across a post that has attracted a huge number of comments. While we all strive for this level of engagement with our readers, very few of us actually achieve it.

So how do some bloggers manage to reel in so many comments?

  1. SEO and social media savviness

    In a recent blog post Kristen Lamb amassed 170+ comments. Kristen refers to herself as a “Social Media Jedi” and has written a book on how writers can use social media. If the number of comments on this blog post are any indication, it would seem she knows what she is talking about.

    Writing our posts is one thing, and our regular readers will find them, but getting the word out that the posts exist and attracting new readers is where search engine optimization know how and social media skills kick in.

  2. Longevity

  3. If you offer something of value and blog consistently, over time your audience will grow. They’ll hang around and feel comfortable with you, comfortable enough to voice their thoughts and leave comments.

    Author and blogger JA Konrath has been in the business a long time. He’s written 24 novels and 100+ short stories and he’s been blogging for over 10 years. This post drew over 230 comments.

  4. Good topics

    We’ve all seen them, and some of us may have even written them without realizing it, but some blog post topics are done to death. But, when we write about something fresh, or something that people really want to know about, we’ll attract readers—and comments.

    As an example, check out this post by self-publishing advocate Joel Friedlander on The Book Designer. ISBNs are a subject that a lot of people struggle to get their heads around and there’s not a lot out there about them written in layman’s terms so it’s easy to see why this particular post got so much attention.

  5. Controversial topics

  6. Topic that rile people up often draw a lot of comments. Take a look at this post by David Gaughran. The trick to this type of post is to try not to offend anyone because the internet never forgets and even if you delete your post later, online cache files could haunt you forever.

  7. Dedication

  8. In addition to all of the above points, blogging takes dedication and each of the bloggers I’ve mentioned in this article have proven their dedication to the task time and time again. They’re not alone. I could add a very long list of other dedicated bloggers.

    A dedicated blogger knows:

    • or learns about SEO and social media
    • that developing an audience won’t happen overnight and is prepared to be in it for the long haul
    • understands his or her audience and picks topics that will appeal to them
    • if or when, and how to use controversial topics

Do you have other ideas for ways to get people to leave comments on your blog? If so, tell me in the comments.

Photo credit: Pixabay

Gifts for the Writer in Your Life

Need some last minute gift ideas for the writer or writer-wannabe in your life? I’ve got just the thing! Well, actually, that should be “things” as you will see below.

Yes, I know, it’s probably too late to order from Amazon, but gift certificates are amazing things and, did you know that you can give Kindle e-books as gifts? And, did you know that even if a person doesn’t have a Kindle, that there are apps that can be downloaded for tablets to read Kindle books? Maybe you could suggest one of the following books:

The Self-Publisher’s Ultimate Resource Guide: Every Indie Author’s Essential Directory-To Help You Prepare, Publish, and Promote Professional Looking Books by Joel Friedlander and Betty Kelly Sargent

A Self-Publisher’s Companion by Joel Friedlander

The Write Nonfiction NOW! Guide to Writing a Book in 30 Days by Nina Amir

Authorpreneur: How to Build a Business around Your Book by Nina Amir

The Author Training Manual: Develop Marketable Ideas, Craft Books That Sell, Become the Author Publishers Want, and Self-Publish Effectively by Nina Amir

Avoid Social Media Time Suck: A Blueprint for Writers to Create Online Buzz for Their Books and Still Have Time to Write by Frances Caballo

Blogging Just for Writers by Frances Caballo

Social Media Just for Writers: The Best Online Marketing Tips for Selling Your Books by Frances Caballo

Say What?: The Fiction Writer’s Handy Guide to Grammar, Punctuation, and Word Usage by C. S. Lakin

Writing the Heart of Your Story: The Secret to Crafting an Unforgettable Novel by C. S. Lakin

Shoot Your Novel: Cinematic Techniques to Supercharge Your Writing by C. S. Lakin

These books will help you with your writing, help you with your publishing decisions, point you in the right directions with marketing and building your author platform (and even explain what an author platform is if you don’t already know) and help you devise a plan to get more bang out of your writing efforts.

And, wouldn’t it be nice to finish your shopping without leaving your desk?

Photo courtesy of Apolonia | Freedigitalphotos.net