I’ve been reading a lot lately about how to blog a book. Some of these blog posts detail how to blog a book from the start, meaning that the author has a plan for a book and starts a new blog to build an audience. Other posts involve taking material from a running blog and using that to create a book.
In part, I’m reading this because I might create a book from blog posts. Maybe.
But I’m also reading them because recently I’ve read a number of blogged books. Unfortunately, many of them are a bit of a disappointment. If you are thinking about going this route remember to:
Don’t Make Idle Promises. Many of the blogged books that I’ve read make great promises. Read this book and you will know how to x, y, z, potato salad. Unfortunately, they tell you that you can do these things. They may even tell you how to x and y. But they never get around to z, let alone to potato salad. To learn about that, you need to pay for their class or buy another book. Money must change hands.
Seriously. Do not do this to your readers. If you promise them something, deliver. In detail.
That means that you need to give your readers something of substance. Many of the blogged books I’ve read certainly made excellent blog posts but that’s still al that they are. Yes, they’ve been smoothed out and woven together but there is nothing new here and the result is a little slight.
Blogging a book can be a great thing. Using posts from your blog to create a book can as well. Face it – you have statistics and can see which posts your readers liked best. You can then spin these into a book and leave out the posts that, for whatever reason, simply didn’t resonate.
But you have do more than create some transitions and update links. If you are going to go from your blog to a book, create a book that deserves to stand alone. That is, after all, the best way to win over readers. Give them somehting of substance.