Posted By Sue Collier on June 7, 2012
Today’s guest post is by Nina Amir, Author of How to Blog a Book, Write, Publish and Promote Your Work One Post at a Time.
In the world of traditional publishing, aspiring authors focus much of their time on building author’s platform prior to actually writing a book. They need this fan base to prove to publishers that they have readers ready and waiting to purchase their book once it is actually written, published and released.
Many aspiring self-publishers don’t realize they need to spend just as much time building an author’s platform before writing their books, too, and for the same reason. When they publish their book, they need loyal fans eager to purchase their new release—that is if they want it to be successful.
Both traditional and indie publishers define a successful book in the same way. It’s one that sells to lots of readers. The way to ensure that happens is for the author of the book to build an author’s platform before the book is ever published.
One of the best ways to build the coveted author’s platform today is with a blog. Yet, many writers don’t want to blog because they think blogging takes them away from their real writing—the creation of their manuscript. They may also shy away from anything smelling or looking at all like promotion.
Here’s the thing. The only way to create a platform—or sell books—is via promotional activities. A blog allows you to do this while doing what you, a writer, do best: write. Not only that, there is a way for you to write your book and build a fan base of readers eager to purchase your book at the same time. You can blog your book.
Here’s how this works. You already know you want to write a book. Hopefully you already have done the initial work to figure out if you have a viable, meaning marketable, idea for a nonfiction book. If you are writing nonfiction, you have:
- Found out if your book has a market
- Discovered if your idea is unique compared to other books that have already been published.
- Figured out if you have the expertise to write your book, or if you need to bring in other experts to help you so you have more authority than those who have written similar books.
- Decided if your book adds value to readers or solves a problem.
- Determined if you have enough information (content) for a book.
If not, you need to do these things first.
If you are writing, fiction, maybe you’ve already done a comparative study of other books on the market to make sure yours:
- is unique
- adds value
- contains a story worth telling
- has believable characters that touch readers emotionally
- has a market
If not, you need to do this first.
Then, you will need to develop a content plan for your book that is quite detailed. You start with a table of contents—a simple list of chapters. Next, break this down into blog-post sized pieces—250-500 word chunks of material. In other words, consider the content you will include in each chapter and how you can write it in small pieces. Create subheadings (blog titles) for each small bit of content you will later write. For nonfiction, this is fairly simple. For fiction, it can be a bit more difficult; think in terms of scenes and give each one a title.
Look at your content plan and decide what pieces you might hold back for use in your printed or digital book. Having some new content available only in the final version (not on the blog) provides an incentive to loyal blog readers to purchase it.
Then begin blogging your book using your content plan. Here’s how:
- Create a blogging schedule. Maybe you plan to write two days a week—the very minimum amount—or seven days a week. Maybe you write Monday, Wednesday and Friday.
- Sit down and write one blog post on each day of your blogging schedule. These should be just 250-500 words in length. It shouldn’t take you too long, 45 minutes or so. Compose these in a word processing program in sequence so you create a manuscript in the process.
- Copy and paste your blog post into your blogging program and publish it each time you write.
- Share your blog post via your social networking sites, like Twitter and Facebook, to help publicize your work.
If you do this consistently, you will blog your book quickly and easily and build a platform at the same time. Here’s why and how.
- As you share your posts via your social networks, people will click on the link you provide and read your posts. Hopefully, they will subscribe to your blog’s Really Simple Syndication (RSS) feed or at least return often to read your blog posts. In other words, you will gain readers. They may also share the links to your posts with their followers on the networks. In this way, your readership—and your reach—will grow.
- As you consistently blog your book, your blog will work its way up in the search engine results pages. The more content you produce, the more reason the search engine bots and spiders have to catalog your content and the keywords and keyword phrases you include. This will make your blog more discoverable by people searching for topics related to your blog. That means more readers will organically find your blog when, for example, they conduct a search for something related to your book using the Google search engine. Your blog, or a specific post, may come up on the first Google search engine results page.
When you’ve finished blogging your book, edit and revise. You will have actually written just your first draft, so the manuscript you produced will need some polishing. Now is the time to add in extra chapters, a prologue or epilogue, or any other extra content you withheld on the blog. The editing process will improve your book as well, and you might find you add enough or change enough that your book gets longer, which also may entice many loyal readers to purchase the “new edition.” Of course, hire a professional editor for the final touch. Once you’ve gotten a professional designer to pull it all together, you can send your blogged book—or blook—off to the printer.
Before long, you’ll be ready to tell your waiting fans they can go purchase your book. And, because you’ve built that author’s platform, you’ll stand a high likelihood of having produced a successful indie book—one that sells way more than the average number of copies.
About the Author
Nina Amir, Inspiration-to-Creation Coach, inspires people to combine their purpose and passion so they Achieve More Inspired Results. She motivates both writers and non-writers to create publishable and published products, careers as authors and to achieve their goals and fulfill their purpose.
The author of How to Blog a Book, Write, Publish and Promote Your Work One Post at a Time (Writer’s Digest Books), Nina has also self-published 10 short books, including the How to Evaluate Your Book for Success and 10 Days and 10 Ways to Your Best Self. A sought after editor, proposal consultant, book and author coach, and blog-to-book coach, Nina’s clients’ books have sold upwards of 230,000 copies and landed deals with top publishers. The founder of Write Nonfiction in November, she writes four blogs, including Write Nonfiction NOW!, How to Blog a Book and As the Spirit Moves Me, and appears weekly on the Dresser After Dark radio show.
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