Almost every time I sit down to do a blog post, it balloons into several without my really trying. I love nothing better than to just let the words fly and, once I get started, it’s hard to rope myself back in. Just point me at a topic I’m interested in and I can hold court all day.
I just really like talking. Because that’s what writing is for me, talking through a keyboard. My voice here is near identical to how I actually talk in real life. And I love it, especially when it’s stuff I’m interested in like, well, everything I write about on this site.
To that end, I’ve been really eager to try blogging a book. For those not familiar with the term, it refers to blogging with the specific purpose of turning those posts into a book. The term can also refer to the reverse, ie blogging excerpts or the content in full from a published book as I’ve done here in the past with Sell Their Stuff and Beyond Amazon, eBay and Etsy. While I’m regularly sharing the content of my publishing books on the blog here for readers, I have never tried the reverse and have been eager to.
The idea appeals to me for a variety of reasons. Firstly, it appeals to my natural tendency to really explore a topic to a length longer than the average blog post. Secondly, it would be a great way to test material out on you, my target demographic, and get some feedback on it before it’s published. And, perhaps most importantly, it would help me get more books out a year thus increasing my earning potential, which you KNOW I’m all about.
I couldn’t do this with Sell Their Stuff because of how much rewriting was involved but I am going to start blogging a few books, one of which will start on Wednesday. (Edited because I am an idiot. It’s not THIS Wednesday, it’s Wednesday, December 31st. Sorry! This is the downside to scheduling everything so far in advance, I am CONSTANTLY confused!) I’m using a post series plugin (that I’m not in love with so it may change) to designate these posts and I may have several series going at once depending on how this goes. At the time that I’m writing this, I have three books outlined that I’d like to try blogging and I’m sure I’ll come up with more as I go.
How will this work, you wonder? Well, I’m working off an outline so, while I can and will stray from it if I come up with something I should have added, I’m writing my way through each post series with a plan just as I would a book. While some of these posts may seem like an incomplete thought, I think you’ll find that most of them stand up pretty well as solo posts. But the advantage of the series plugin is that you’ll always be able to navigate to the previous post if need be to refresh your memory or get some context.
While this series is just starting from your perspective, I’ve actually been queuing up posts from this new series for a while so I’ve really gotten a chance to form an opinion on the process of blogging a book. And while it’s early days and I’m sure I’ll find something to hate about it eventually, so far, I really like it. I’m not just flying through the first draft on my next project but I’m also doing a much more polished first draft than I would normally do because I’m publishing it to the blog immediately after finishing it. This means I’m cleaning up some of the spelling and grammar right away which I wouldn’t normally do until later in revision. Maybe I’ll be able to just combine all these sections once it’s finished, go over it once, and send it to my editor without having to do 9 million revisions in between. Wouldn’t that be nice?
That said, what you’re seeing is still a first draft which means a lot will probably change if and when I ever decide to publish it. For example, the series that’s starting on Wednesday (12/31), which is actually adapted from a webinar on marketing a book I used to offer when I worked for Lulu.com, is currently about marketing a variety of things including webstores and books. If I were to publish it, however, I would probably separate those topics out. My point here is that this is most assuredly a work in progress so, please, don’t be shy about sharing your feedback and helping me shape the final product.
My hope is to let the series posts like this fill in the gaps for when I don’t have a timely post to go up. This way I can preempt the evergreen series material whenever I have a review or news post to write but, in the meantime, they’ll always be at least two new posts a week up for you even if nothing much is going on. And since traffic always dips this time of year anyway since everyone is too busy selling to read, that should work out just fine!