Blogging and Books: Four Questions from Nina Amir

POSTED ON Apr 23, 2011

Joel Friedlander

Written by Joel Friedlander

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Fellow blogger and copywriter Nina Amir told me she would like to write a review of A Self-Publisher’s Companion. This is always good news for the self-published author.

She sent me the following four questions for her article. I’ve been trying to get to these questions ever since, without success. In desperation, I scheduled this article with my handy new WordPress Editorial Calendar plugin. This allows me to actually figure out in advance what will be appearing when on the blog.

This entirely novel idea is intoxicating. When you write a daily blog—or file a story on a daily deadline—you develop an almost Zen-like disengagement just to deal with the task. But having an actual schedule of future posts sure would help.

And that’s how I ended up answering Nina’s questions today, because it was on the schedule. But there’s something in these questions for you, too.

That’s because Nina is a writer’s advocate. She understands the questions facing writers, and particularly writers who want to become authors. I think you’ll sense this right away when you see the questions she gave me.

Here they are, along with my replies:

  1. What made you decide to “book your blog?”
    I was getting frustrated with the difficulty of making anything out of the hundreds of articles I had written. I knew that there was a lot of great content, but I felt that people couldn’t get to it. It also felt incomplete, as if I had put in a lot of time and energy creating a lot of pretty cohesive writing. I wanted it to add up to more than the sum of a lot of blog articles.
  2. What are three tips you’d offer bloggers who want to book their blog?
    1. Take a new look at your blog archive, and try to see the themes running through the articles.
    2. When writing a lot of articles it’s not unusual for your writing “voice” to vary. Watch how different articles flow together.
    3. Look beyond the way the articles are formatted, to the text itself. You can always change or eliminate lists, bullets and other attention-grabbing devices.
  3. What are the one or two most important things that make the booked blog publishing process successful?
    Well, I’m not sure I’m ready to answer that one, since my book has only been out a couple of weeks! But I think you have to mold your manuscript to the over-arching themes that you most want to address. The book needs a focus of its own so that the individual pieces have an obvious role to play in the final work. Articles that used to exist on their own have to be able to advance your main theme.
  4. Why do you think other writers or bloggers should consider booking a blog or blogging a book?
    When I was writing the introduction to the book, I talked about the similarities between blogging and self-publishing. I think bloggers are in an ideal position to move into book publishing. Most bloggers are do-it-yourself inclined, tech-savvy, social-network-connected and knowledgable in keyword research, search engine optimization and all the other internet marketing tools we need to learn. Print publishing and traditional e-book publishing has been pretty much ignored by most bloggers, and I think that’s due for a change.

I’ve been fascinated with the world of blogging, having come from the world of indie publishing. One of the side effects of the digitization of text, the movement of books to reflowable e-readers, and the changing definition of “books,” is that many more people are capable of publishing a lot more different kinds of text documents than ever before.

There are entrepreneurs right now publishing articles, novellas, how-to instructional booklets and every other type of text you can think of in e-book formats and selling them in the Kindle store among other places.

Bloggers and other online content creators are ideally situated to broaden their own “self-publishing” to print books and e-books and other forms of useful, entertaining, salable text.

Got anything you want to publish?

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Joel Friedlander

Written by
Joel Friedlander

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