You’ve been dedicating countless hours to your blog, pouring your heart and soul into creating quality content. Now you’re at the point where you feel you’d like to turn your blog (or another social media platform) into a book, and you’re asking yourself, “What do I do now? I don’t know how to write a book.”
I started out with a Facebook page, and after about a year and a half I decided I wanted to turn my material into a book. The good news was that I had most of my content written (just like you do). The not-so-good news was that I didn’t know the first thing about writing a manuscript. I have a few tips to help you get started on your journey from blog to book.
Here are five tips on how to turn your blog into a book:
- Think about what the purpose of your book is, and envision the type of format you want to use.
I wanted to tell Lola’s story to bring attention to what can happen to abandoned animals. After some thought, I opted to have Lola tell her tale through her eyes and let the reader know the events of her life as she experienced them. I chose to write the book as her diary, chronicling each day’s events. This gave me a good starting point on how to organize my thoughts on paper.
- Just start writing!
Don’t worry about how your manuscript should be formatted; you can revise it when it comes time to submit it to a publisher. I wasted some time researching proper structure, which just lead to confusion. I finally decided to just open a Word document and start typing. I went to my Facebook page and started cutting and pasting information I wanted to be included, and made sure to make note of what photos went with the text. (Make sure to do this at you write–it will save a lot of time and frustration!)
If you have a blog, this task will be somewhat easier for you because you have an index of your posts in chronological order. This allows you to easily browse through your posts and choose what you want to include.
- Ask friends for their opinions.
After you’ve written some of your content, ask a friend (or two–or three!) for their honest review. A word of advice: Be open minded and don’t take it personally. Listen to their critique and incorporate what you can to improve your book and have a better idea of how to move forward. This could be painful at times, but looking back it was very helpful.
- Review, review, review!
I reviewed my manuscript several times and made notes along the way about things I wanted to revise or rearrange. When you make a change, save the document with a new name so you don’t lose your previous version. You may want to refer to earlier edits.
- Ask authors you admire for ideas and advice.
I knew I wanted to self-publish but wasn’t sure where to start. After researching self-publishing options, I looked at books that I respected and enjoyed to see which publishers were used. I then reached out to those authors to get their perspectives on their experiences. I’m so glad I did this, because I was able to connect with a small, independent publishing company who was willing to take on my project. The owner was not only a cat lover, but a Muse Medallion winner as well! My networking definitely paid off. (Of course, now that I’m in the blogging world I know publishers personally, which will make my next book much easier!)
I hope these tips are helpful to get you started. Write with authenticity from the heart and your words will start to flow.
By day Dawn White is a Behavioral Psychologist (working with adults with Intellectual Disabilities and Autism) and a Licensed Massage Therapist. By night she is the blogger behind www.LolaTheRescuedCat.com and the author of Lola: Diary of a Rescued Cat, available on Amazon.
Images: carballo/Shutterstock.com and courtesy of the author