7 Reasons To Blog Your Book
1. You start building a platform right away.
A platform is the first thing publishers look for. No platform? No contract. Your platform is how many people listen to you on a (somewhat) regular basis. As you blog regularly, you will gather a faithful group of readers which will be the beginning of your platform.
2. You find out what connects and what doesn’t.
When you write, you have no idea what people will like and what they won’t. Your editor can help, but you are both shooting in the dark. On a blog, the stats tell you what connects with your audience. More importantly, you find out what doesn’t connect. Your book will dramatically improve if you remove the boring content.
3. Blogging allows you to enhance your message with media.
[pro-player width=’532′ height=’253′ type=’video’]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XZ1ahsX_zJk[/pro-player]
Is there a video that helps you prove a point? If you have a blog, you can embed it. Try that with a paper book.
4. Your message gets out right away.
The publishing industry moves at the speed of a blind turtle. If everything goes well, it will be years before it hits store shelves. And that is assuming you work hard and get all the right breaks. If you want to reach people tomorrow start blogging today.
5. Your blog creates a rally point for your following.
Assuming you spend the $20 a year to buy YourBlogName.com, you will be able to use your blog as the center of your platform. Got a radio interview? Push your blog. Writing an article for a magazine? Put your blog in your bio. As people come to your blog and subscribe you get their permission to contact them when your book comes out.
6. You get instant feedback.
The comments you get on your blog will help you find flaws, and answer people’s questions and objections before they have them. Did something not make sense? The commentators will let you know.
7. Your blog will boost your credibility.
As an unpublished author it can be hard to build credibility. But, if you are the editor of YourBlogName.com suddenly people will treat you like the expert. The key is to have your blog on YourName.com. A free blog will not boost your credibility. You need your own domain name.
Will a publisher buy my writing if it’s published online?
In a word, “yes.” I have clients who have sold their blog’s as books and can point to many bestselling books that were blogs first. Free is not your enemy. Obscurity is your enemy.
Your book will have exclusive content. Save some of your nuggets for your book. Plus, everything in your book will be edited and focused. Remember all those stats and comments from Benefit #6? They will help you hone your message. Plus, your editor will add value to the book by cleaning up your language.
What do you think?
Do you think this will work? Do you know someone who has sold their blog to a publisher? Do you have a blog you want to get published?
This strategy could work well for some writers. But I think it’s risky, for a couple of reasons. First, many publishers won’t go near anything that’s appeared online in any form, so you’d be limiting your pool of potential publishers. Second, some writers don’t have the temperament to expose their writing to criticism at the first draft stage. My blog post on first draft critiques explains why: http://wp.me/pwENu-2C
The decision to blog the first draft of your book should be part of a well thought-out marketing strategy, not a whim. Make sure you understand your goals, as well as your level of tolerance for negative comments from random critics in the blogosphere.
So you forgot an important one: it keeps you writing. It prevents the nasty habit of opening up a document, re-reading it, perhaps making some small edits (or perhaps not) and then closing it without really adding anything. By breaking a book down into narrowly focused, roughed-out sections, posting regularly on the same topic without repeating oneself, one writes a book as a matter of course.
I like this advice and plan to put it into practice for my next non-fiction book!Thanks.
I am writing a book and just started a blog a few weeks ago. I wish I would have done this sooner. I am quickly getting a following but was told by an agent they usually want someone who has about 10,000 followers.
I agree with your post that the quickest way to reach people is through blogging and other social network tools. My blog is for cancer survivors and I feel good that I am able to reach and help people now.
I put the first draft of my debut mystery novel online as I wrote it. I would guess that five people saw it. But I was largely unknown at the time. Now I have been blogging for several years and in a couple of months, I will start writing my next mystery novel. I expect that I will double my viewers this time. Seriously.
Both of my novels and most of my short stories are available for free on Scribd. I do believe in Tim O’Reilly’s “Obscurity is the Enemy” concept. I also believe that as an unknown writer, everything I sell in paperback had better be available for free in digital form. Yes, Cory Doctorow is my hero!
I do not expect a book publisher to find me and want to publish me, no matter how big or small my platform is. My only concern is that I come to press with a new book every year, and that each new book is better than the last. Growing my audience year after year is more important to me than getting a Cinderella contract. Because even with said contract, if you don’t have an audience, you won’t get another contract.
To be a successful author you need to keep writing and keep releasing new books, until your back catalog begins to earn enough to eat on. Expecting your first or fifth book to suddenly be your tipping point, is unrealistic and putting your drafts online is only one small part of getting an audience.
Also, get on Twitter. It is impossible to measure the value of speaking to other established writers as you learn your craft.
Everything you say makes sense to me! I appreciate how concise your message is and on point.
Always something to sink our teeth into!
I followed a link sent to me by Randy Ingermanson in his monthly ezine –http://www.advancedfictionwriting.com/ezine that I received today. I am very impressed and found not only the article to be well worth reading but the comments as well. I am currently working with my mother to ghostwrite her book, Ignorance Causes Pain. It is as much a teaching or life guide as it is a memoir. I have been considering how to present it and have been thinking about blogging it as well. This article has really encouraged me to come up with a plan that includes strong use of social media. I already use Facebook and Twitter for personal stuff but have only recently considered doing so for some commercial purposes as well. Thank you for this excellent site. I will be a frequent reader from now on.
At the last PNWA conference an agent suggested this very thing. Her point was "you're going to waste 100,000 words blogging about something, why not spend it on a book."
The Survival Mama
My recent post Laugh Until You Drool
Yeah, but am I supposed to put my entire book up there? Really? Because what's the reason to even get published? Who would shell out money for a printed book when they could just come back to my site and read it anytime they wanted? I've looked at other authors' blogs and they're mostly taken up by signings, speaking dates/locations, etc. What is the unpublished author supposed to do?
I enjoyed your article and found it really helpful. However there is one thing I disagree with. You said if your book is badly written, word of mouth will spread that information to everyone and they will not buy your book. That makes no sense. I don’t believe that at all. In fact, quite the opposite. I site for my example the very bad word of mouth that is out there about that video “Friday.” If word of mouth is out there touting your books badness then everyone will want to see how bad it really is. If your book is badly written, I highly doubt that word of mouth spreads this warning out to everyone to make sure they don’t read your book. I also don’t believe that bad reviews cause people not to buy your book. I site for that example the book “Fifty Shades of Gray.” Nuff said.