It's happening all over the web: bloggers are becoming authors. And you can too.
Publishers see bloggers as a safe bet—these are people who already have a loyal audience and a solid working platform. But you don't have to work with a traditional publisher to get your book out there; self publishing offers some serious advantages especially for the blogger-turned-author.
Whichever publishing path you go down, its important to recognize that turning your blog into a book requires more than copying all of your existing blog posts into Word and pressing send.
Re-Order It All
Books are organized differently than blogs. If your website is for your coaching business, you may have written about interviews 10 times in the last 6 months—but chances are those post are spread out, one or two a month. To turn your blog into a book you'll have to go back through the topics you wrote about and group posts by topic instead of by date. This will allow you to create chapter topics that you can then use for your book.
Making it Flow
Since all your posts on a given topic were written at different times, even after you've rearranged all the posts on your blog you'll have to make them flow smoothly into each other. You may even want to move ideas around from one post to another to present the information in the most logical way. You'll have to cut out any notes that "dated" the pieces, things where you may have commented on an upcoming holiday, day of the week or even future posts.
While most of your headings and subheadings can probably be used as such in the book, you'll have to go back through posts to find places where you linked to other websites (or even other pages of your website) and make sure there aren't gaps in the information when the text is presented without this outside information. Where necessary you'll need to add information that was previous supplied by links.
The Latest and Greatest
No matter what industry you're in chances are there have been a few developments since you first started blogging. You need to make sure the copy in your book reflects that. References to news events, "new" developments and other time-related material has to be updated, or you'll risk looking behind the times. This is especially important if your subject matter is in anyway technology-reliant. We're not using the same devices, same software or even the same SEO tactics we were a year ago.
Why Buy The Cow...
Finally, readers won't want to pay for something they can just as easily get for free on your website. Why buy the cow when they can get the milk for free? While a good chunk of your book can be built from your blog content, you'll need to add to it if you hope to create a book readers will be willing to pay for. Consider adding advice from other experts in your field, case studies, how-to break downs and examples. You may even want to add information you don't cover on your blog—for example, if your blog gives only advanced web design tips? Consider including a chapter on the basics. If you go over how to get started as a freelance photographer? Consider a chapter with advanced tips for capturing the perfect shot.
Any tips for turning a blog into a book? Any questions? Leave a comment below.