#AuthorToolboxBlogHop

Old Airport Beach, Kailua-Kona, Hawaii

Blog to Book

How AtoZ makes it easy to write a book

Blog to book is a marketing tool I’m using due to my participation in April’s AtoZChallenge. 26 blogs in 26 days. For the second year in a row, I’m taking part with an amazing group of people at BlogChatter, which supports bloggers based in India. This year, they asked me to be a mentor for their ebook Carnival, a project that assists bloggers into turning their posts into an ebook. Me! A mentor! In India!

Sunday, April 15th, blogchatter held an Ask Me Anything all-day chat on Twitter (#AMACarnival). Anyone could post writing and marketing questions, and any of the mentors could jump in with advice. As there’s a twelve-hour time difference, I participated in the early morning and evening shifts, getting about five hours of sleep on Saturday. All well worth it.

Last year, I shared writing and marketing tips, posted my ebook on blogchatter’s website for two months, where I received lots of downloads and free publicity. After the two-month exclusionary period expired, I published it on Amazon. This year, I wrote 26 short stories, set in a fictional Arizona retirement community (similar to where I live) where odd and unexplained events occur. I’m forgoing the ebook carnival and have collected and published them on Amazon, some of them prior to publication on my blog. (Exclusive! Read them before my blog peeps do! 99¢) <–the previous was a blatant marketing ploy.

Twilight, Arizona, a blog to book supernatual short story collection

The AtoZChallenge and the ebook Carnival have convinced me of the benefits of the blog to book concept. It’s an easy way to recycle content. One stone, two birds. Win-win, and all that stuff.

There are two ways to blog to book, and I’ll cover each.

Blog to book from Scratch

This is the method I used for my short story collection, Twilight, Arizona. As AtoZ is an alphabetical challenge, I took a common belief or fallacy (ie, anything can be bartered or traded at a thrift store) and created a story around it. Because I’m anal, er, organized, I started writing in January, five stories every two weeks, with the last two Saturdays in March reserved for proofreading, adding images, SEO, and giving them the same format. (Last year I scrambled to get them written and posted in time. It was not pretty)

If you’re blogging a fiction book, your process will be similar to what you’d use if you’re writing a book—picking an idea, deciding on your characters, researching, outlining then writing. Break the book into manageable parts, whether scenes or chapters, and upload them to your blog.

You can publish them on the fly or after the book is written.

If you’re blogging a non-fiction book, the process is about the same. Pick your subject, organize the subject into similar ideas, add details, research then write.

Blog to Book from Existing Posts

Look through your existing posts. Is there a common theme? At the time, the post might have been an observation of your life, but in context with other posts, you might have a memoir. Or a travelogue. Or a group of essays.

Can you add more content to what you have? Expand on the hurricane warning when you lived on Big Island, Hawaii? Does the material need updating? Can you customize the content for different audiences?

Old Airport Beach, Kailua-Kona, Hawaii

This chair is waiting for me.

Hawaiian tourists should be warned of undertows, sharks, and there are no plastic bags in the state (a few in the ABC Stores, but the first time I went to Target and the cashier asked if I wanted a bag, I went Huh? Of course I want a bag. Then got charged for a cloth bag.)

Hawaiian locals might want to know the location of the best transfer station (garbage dump where you can buy another man’s junk for cheap). Or alternate routes during Ironman (there aren’t many).

Can I supplement the content with videos, links, and resource material?

But Cheryl, I don’t want to put my book out for free or do research on a non-fiction book.

Okay, I get it. Writing time is precious. Think outside the box. Why not take the stuff you’re doing anyway and turn it into a companion piece for your book? You’re throwing your research links into a bookmark or file anyway, why not turn them into a resource chapter? Why not recycle your character worksheets? Did you blog about that huge error neither you, your editor, nor your beta readers caught? Include it. Who online helped you, encouraged you? Give them a shout out. Who left a bad review or halted your progress? Write about your feelings when it happened.

Assemble all the bits and pieces of what went on behind the scenes of Your BestSeller #1 and publish them on Amazon as a permafree book. Or offer it to someone signing up for your newsletter. Behind the scenes material makes you more human to your readers and helps build your brand.

Nowadays, writing includes more than sitting down and pounding out 80-100K. Marketing is part of the package. Blog to book is a way you can do one by doing the other.

Happy blogging! Happy blog-to-book!

This post is part of the #AuthorToolboxBlogHop, a monthly hop where authors can share tips and tricks about writing and marketing. Follow the hashtag on Twitter to read more blogs.

The #AuthorToolboxBlogHop is a monthly event on the topic of resources and learning for authors. Feel free to hop around to the various blogs and see what you learn!

Blessings to you,

Cheryl

 

 

 

 

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Blog prep. www.cherylsterlingbooks.com

AtoZChallenge Blog Prep for April, 2018

AtoZChallenge. www.cherylsterlingbooks.comAs March turns the corner toward April, it’s time for AtoZChallenge blog prep.

If you don’t know what AtoZChallenge is, here’s a brief review:

26 blogs in April

26 letters of the alphabet

Write one blog per day (except Sundays unless the 1st is on a Sunday), working your way through the alphabet.

Any theme.

As I related on this post, when I revealed my theme for this year, I’m writing about a fictional retirement village in Arizona where supernatural happenings are the norm.

I started writing 800-1200 word posts in January. From A is for Arizona Heat to Z is for (Birthday) One-Zero-Zero, I wrote an average of five stories every two weeks. Twenty-six stories in six weeks. While still maintaining my regular writing and blogging schedule. I’m waiting for the parade of gratitude to start (hint, hint).

Continue reading #AtoZChallenge Blog Prep

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Blogging every day #Authortoolboxbloghop

Blogging Every Day?

Blogging every day? Am I crazy? If so, it will the second year in a row I’ve been crazy enough to enter the A-to-Z-Challenge.

What is the A-to-Z Challenge? It’s a one month blogging challenge that takes place in April. Twenty-six blogs on twenty-six days. Twenty-six letters of the alphabet, one post beginning with each letter. One central theme. Any category.

(Post every day except Sundays. Except if the 1st is a Sunday, then write on Sunday, April 1st. No Fooling!)

Sign up here.

(Disclaimer: This blog is almost identical to this blog, but I needed it for two different purposes—theme reveal and Recycle, reuse, repurpose)

Entering the 2017 A-to-Z Challenge

Last year was my first year, though the challenge has been around since 2010. I stumbled upon it by accident and signed onto a group (the wonderful blogchatter group). I wrote twenty-six blogs on writing and marketing tips, which I later consolidated and published as an ebook available here.

Writing tools, 26 ways to improve your writing. 2018 A-to-Z Challenge Theme Reveal

Writing Tools: 26 Ways on How to Improve Your Writing

This year, I debated on whether to enter. I couldn’t imagine blogging about another twenty-six tips on writing and book marketing . Do you know how hard it is to find a writing tip for J? (I cheated and used, Journey, The Hero’s)

A case of insomnia came to the rescue

When I can’t fall asleep, I head for the couch. One night the lights from the microwave, stove and cable box seemed to burn brighter than normal, and I started playing the writer’s game of “What If?” What if they weren’t lights but cameras? And someone watched my every move? What if I had a character who thought that and no one believed him? What if I could put a Twilight Zone twist on the end?

Playing a little further, what if the character lived in a retirement community where reality clashes with the unexplained? I live in a retirement community and I’ve witnessed a bunch of strange things. What if I wrote about what I know?

Thus, twenty-six stories were born set in the fictional village of Twilight, Arizona. The blurb for the series is:

Twilight, Arizona, on the road between Phoenix and Las Vegas, where reality clashes with the unexplained.

Almost each one contains a grain of a story that has happened to me or I’ve witnessed. All of the endings are not what you’d expect.

Blogging every day = writing every day. Isn’t that a mantra? “Write every day.” “Butt in Chair.” “Hands on Keyboard”. WEDBICHOK. I get to create a cast of wacky, elderly characters, hone my craft, and write a book at the same time. Plus, by posting and sharing other’s blogs in April, I’ll build my social media following, increase my email subscribers, and sell more books.

If you’re looking for a cross between Lake Woebegone Days, The Golden Girls, and The Twilight Zone, join me in this space on Sunday, April 1, 2018.

If you’d like to try blogging every day, sign up here.

Blessings,

Cheryl

p.s. Please share using the social media icons on the left.

If you’d like to sign up for my monthly newsletter, please sign up below and get a FREE ebook short story (this offer will change soon, so get it while you can)

Also, if you’ve stuck around to the bottom of this blog, take advantage of a special 99¢ offering of Snow White and the Eighth Dwarf as it celebrates its one year publishing anniversary.

Available for 99¢ until March 25, 2018 on Amazon, ibooks, Kobo and other distributors.

Snow White and the Eighth Dwarf, an adult fairy tale romance. 2018 A-to-Z Challenge Theme Reveal

Snow White and the Eighth Dwarf

Blogging every day #Authortoolboxbloghop

#AuthorToolboxBlogHop

This blog is a part of the #AuthorToolboxBlogHop, a monthly event on the topic of resources and learning for authors. Feel free to hop around to the various blogs and see what you learn! The rules and sign-up form are below the list of hop participants. All authors at all stages of their careers are welcome to join.

To sign up and/or follow other fabulous authors, go here to see a list of participants, or follow the #AuthorToolBoxBlogHop hashtag on Twitter.

 

 

 

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