From blog to book: one post at a time

Good Book is like a skirtI’ve heard people say if you just write one page a day, you’ll have 365 pages in a year—enough for a book. Others have suggested that you can take all your blog posts and turn them into a book, assuming they are all about the same topic. It is possible to turn blog posts into a book, especially with non-fiction books.

In 1990, I published a subscription newsletter called Newsletter Trends, a newsletter about newsletters. Each month, the eight-page newsletter delivered writing, design, photography, printing, and distribution tips to the paid subscribers. After a few years, I had enough for a book: Producing a First-Class Newsletter, published by Self-Counsel Press. And after six years, I sold the subscription newsletter.

You can do the same with blog posts—you can write a book from blog posts. Here are a few points to keep in mind.

  • Do you have enough information to substantiate a book? A good book is like a skirt—short enough to create interest, but long enough to cover the essentials.
  • Could you write a blog post with about 300 words? My latest 6”x9” fiction book had an average of 310 words per page. My last 8”x11” non-fiction book had between 300 – 530 words per page.
  • Your blog should have a purpose. What are you going to write about? What are you going to focus on?
  • Your blog should have specific market. Who are you writing for and why would they want to read it? These blog subscribers could become buyers for your book.
  • After writing enough blog posts, you will need to organize the posts by topic or chapter for your book.
  • After writing your blog posts, you will need to add text between posts so the book flows fluently.
  • Remember the competition. You are probably not the only person writing on that topic. Will your book be as good as the competition, or better?
  • Make sure that all posts are original and written with the same “voice”. If you have a guest author, you will have re-write it in your own words.
  • You can’t just copy your posts and paste them into a book. You still have to edit, revise, re-write, and update your material.
  • Most people don’t post blogs daily, but rather a couple times a week.
  • Search engine optimization is increased if you write about the same topic consistently, add tags, keywords, and remember your search terms. If you do write consistently, within a few months, your ranking on search engines like Google should be closer to the top of the page.
  • Remember, one blog post can lead to another post, which can lead to a book, which can lead to a series!

By Barbara A. Fanson