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Writer's tools

What holds most would-be authors back from publishing? It’s not a lack of writing talent. It’s not a lack of knowledge. And it’s definitely not a lack of desire.

 

If you ask most people why they haven’t finished their book, they’ll tell you they don’t have time.  We’re all busy people. You have clients to serve, a business to run, a family to care for. Not only that, but you’re spending time creating new training courses, marketing on social media, managing your team…the list is nearly endless.

When would you have time to write an entire book?

You’ve Probably Already Written It

It’s true. If you have a blog, and you’ve been maintaining it for more than a few months, then you very likely have already written all the content your book needs. All that remains is to organise and give it a light edit.

 

If you don’t have a blog (why not?), or your blog is young, blogging your book is even easier, since you can plan your content around your book topic.

 

Here’s how it works. Think of your blog categories as sections, and each blog post as a chapter. You can loosely organise your book by sorting all your blog posts by category, then listing them in a logical order. Your book may only contain a single category, or it might contain several. The choice is yours.

 

Remove self-serving, time sensitive, curated, or other content that doesn’t fit into a book. Remove the calls to action. It won’t make sense to promote your paid programs—or worse, affiliate offers—within a book.

 

What you’re left with is a rough draft of a book. All that remains is a few passes with your editor who you will have engaged for:

 

  1. Flow: Books should follow a logical path from one chapter to the next, so you’ll likely have to add or edit the beginnings and endings of your posts.
  2. Spelling, grammar and punctuation: Don’t skip this part. In fact, get someone else to do it. It’s too difficult to spot our own mistakes, and book readers are less forgiving than blog readers.
  3. Content: Enlist the help of a few friends or colleagues who you trust to share their honest opinion with you. Ask them to read through and note any content that is confusing, or that could be explained in greater detail.

That’s it! Revise, and you’re ready to publish.

 

Think no one will read a book that’s repurposed from your blog? Think again. Bloggers have used this method to write books for years, and some of them are spectacularly successful. Darren Rowse of ProBlogger.net fame wrote and published his wildly popular blogging guide based entirely on content he’d already published on his blog. He found that even though the content was freely available, people bought the book because they wanted the convenience of having it organised for them in one document.

 

I follow C.S. Lakin on Live, Write, Thrive – my go-to writers’ blog. She had an excellent series of blog posts called the Four Pillars of Writing – not only did I buy the book she created from those but I’ve also signed up to do her course based on the same topic.

 

Even fiction writers have discovered the power of blogging a book. Andy Weir, the author of “The Martian,” first published his book one chapter at a time on a blog. Hugh Howey, the sci-fi author also does this.

 

Don’t continue to let excuses hold you back from publishing your book. Use the content you’ve already written, or strategically plan your blog to turn it into a book, but either way, get publishing!