What is a book? A book is content. A book is educational. A book is funny or silly. A book is challenging. A book, in essence, is a compilation of someone’s thoughts.
Those of us who are readers, who rarely let a day go by without at least holding a book in our hands or firing up our e-reader, have books that speak to us from across the room, even from across the street. This mostly happens when you live near a library, as I do. The books clamor at me, and I resist them as best I can, because I have a large stack of books by my bed that need my attention, before I visit the library.
Does the first sentence look or sound familiar to you? Replace the word “book” with the word “blog”. What do you get? The same thing. Blogs are content. Blogs are educational. Blogs are funny and silly. Blogs are a compilation of someone’s thoughts.
The concept of blog to book is not new. It’s been around for more than 10 years, and while it was not favorably accepted early on, it’s a reputable way to get published today. Legitimate publishers, whether they want print content or e-book content, are interested in successful bloggers. I ask you, it’s your blog: your business – is it your book, too?
Let’s do a quick and dirty overview of what makes a good book, knowing a book is not longer just the physical, printed on paper item many of us old-timers still favor. For our purposes, a book is a compilation of someone’s thoughts designed to entertain or educate the reader. The Atlantic magazine says,
Here are several important elements of a book.
A Pleasing, Attractive Cover
- It is recommended that you get a true cover designer. Not all designers understand the limitations in creating a good cover. Color is especially important here. I personally lean towards red, but when we were publishing books, we worked with many business professionals who chose to publish several books with us where we created a flow using color. Each book followed a specific style with specific colors.
A Title and Sub-Title
- Your title is definitely a ‘first view’…as is your cover. Together, they bring the reader immediate information and should not be taken lightly! Can you blog title be your book title? Not recommended! You can incorporate your blog title into your book title, but it shouldn’t be a stand alone.
Professional Book Layout
- …by a true book layout designer. Did you know the inside of each book has a unique design? This includes font choice, chapter listings, and more. Tom did out layout at Windsor Media Enterprises. He worked with each author to make sure it represented both their style and their voice.
- This is a person who will keep you honest. No matter how cute you are with your writing or your words, even when you write in the voice of your pet, there are common usage rules you need to follow. Your editor will make sure you don’t become a blog post for the grammar police. Whoever they are.
- No, this is not the same as an editor. A proofreader follows the editor and makes sure every T is crossed and every I is dotted and every word is spelled properly. Proofreaders do much more than that, but for now, this will suffice. A proofreader is a necessity.
A Book Publisher
- You can be that publisher, it’s a common thing these days. However, learn a bit about the publishing process before diving into being your own publisher. You can easily find a print-on-demand publisher to do the heavy lifting for you, if you like. Write your blog, take your posts into a software program designed to help you write books, and after the cover design, page layout, editing and proofreading, send it to your publisher to publish.
An Agent (optional)
- Or, you can work on getting an agent who will sell your book to a traditional publisher. This is a tough market, but it can be done. Publishers are eager to work with popular bloggers.
A Professional BOOK Marketer
- And, you need a good book marketer. I realize I should have made this element #1. You need to start marketing your book long before it’s ready to print (or before it becomes an ebook). Penny Sansevieri is a book marketer who knows and understands pet bloggers. You can also tap into Ally E. Machate, who is knowlegable about both marketing and publishing, as is Penny.
The very last thing I will say on this topic, unless you ask me questions in the comments – which I invite! – is, if you’re serious about developing your blog content into a book, find a place to do this. I discourage you from using your dining room table, even if that is where you write your blog posts. A favorite quote many writers use is, “Every woman (we can include men in this today) needs a room of her own to write in.” Thank you, Virginia Woolf. She is right. A room, or place, of your own is a wondrous thing to behold. And, the quote is not accurate, though it’s used as written here, quite often. Visit the link for the actual quote.
However, if such a luxury is out of your reach, go ahead. Use your dining room table. Just set parameters with the family – and that includes the dogs and the cats and any other pet roaming around that will climb on your lab and beg for attention. When you’re writing your book, your lap is off-limits.
I look forward to reading your books.
What did I leave out? Ask away! And, do tell… should writing a book be part of our Social Learning Community?
Yvonne DiVita is a Co-Founder of BlogPaws. She is dedicated to storytelling and the human-animal bond. When not working on BlogPaws, she writes at Scratchings and Sniffings and The Lipsticking Society. You may contact her at Yvonne@blogpaws.com.