blog to book

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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Blogchatter's ebook carnival introduces 35 FREE ebooks culled from 2017's AtoZChallenge, offering diverse subjects from parenthood to travel.

ebook carnival has changed my life

“I take on the baton of Blogchatter Ebook Carnival from Amrita Misra Basu , whose Ebook Picky Eaters is also a part of the mix.
 
About Amrita’s Ebook: Picky eating makes moms worried. Did you know, what you eat during pregnancy could change your unborn child’s eating habits? Knowing when to worry and how to handle picky eaters, is what this book is about. Easy actionable hacks to make life easier for moms.

Ebook Carnival is part of blogchatter.com, which was part of 2017’s AtoZChallenge. If none of this makes sense, bear with me.

Until the last week of March, I knew nothing about the annual AtoZChallenge, which is a blogging challenge—twenty-six blogs posted in April on a theme of your choice. Obviously, starting with “A” and ending with “Z”. I joined through blogchatter.com, which I didn’t know at the time, was based in India.

Blogchatter's ebook carnival introduces 35 FREE ebooks culled from 2017's AtoZChallenge, offering diverse subjects from parenthood to travel.

Fast forward to April. I’m writing and blogging almost every day and reading and commenting on >10 blogs as well. I’m learning a lot, a ton, a gargantuan amount about the people of India.

Fast forward to May. Blogchatter has generously offered its marketing muscle on its website and through Twitter posts to anyone who wants to consolidate their AtoZ blog posts into a FREE ebook.

Cue the trumpets. I’m in. I spent a couple of days formatting all twenty-six posts, getting rid of repetitive end material (thank you for reading, sign up for my newsletter, etc), then sent a .pdf file, bio, blurb, and cover to blogchatter.

BlogChatter calls the project ebook Carnival, and it has changed my life.

The best things about ebook carnival:

  • I can revisit my favorite blogs from the challenge in a condensed version. No more waiting until the next day to read Anami’s poems, or learn Geethica’s lesson of the day, or try one of Tina’s desserts. No more missing posts. Every post is there, complete, and ready for my enjoyment.
  • I’ve learned a bit about Indian culture. I’ll admit I’m naive about much of the world. I’ve lived in three states:Michigan (conservative), Hawai’i (diverse) and Arizona (diverse). Reading essays of Indian life has opened my eyes to the beauty of the land, the culture of a great people, and how different we are. But, we’re alike as well. Parents still worry about their children and want to raise them right. Children honor their parents (perhaps more than in America), we all want good grades in school, to find the perfect mate, to pay the mortgage, to have a good life. We’re more alike than we are different. A lesson we need to take to heart in these troubled times.
  • ebook Carnival gave me the chance to blog a book, something I’ll do again in the future. Since editing, formatting and sending my Writing Tools 26 Tips on How to Improve Your Writing to BlogChatter, I’ve taken another look at the other non-fiction books I’ve written: The Plot Thickens: 21 Ways to Plot Your Novel, and Birth Order, Adding Depth to the Characters You Write. I’ve learned much since writing them. They need to be reformatted, with new images and new covers. In fact, while making a book cover for Writing Tools, I decided to give all of my current and future non-fiction, writing-related books covers that compliment each other. I have designs on Canva.com waiting. I also have plans to bog a book on how to create characters. Thanks, ebook Carnival!
  • AtoZChallenge and ebook Carnival stretched my boundaries, tested me, and made me realize that writing, whether through blogging daily, or writing a romantic paranormal comedy, is an integral part of who I am. I need to feed it, nurture it, and not be afraid of where it will take me. This is especially important, as this year I’m starting (and hopefully completing) a book outside my normal genre. The idea has brewed in the back of my mind for two or three years. I didn’t think I was brave enough to try it. But with the confidence I’ve gained from AtoZ and ebook Carnival, I’m ready to tackle it! Yeah, me!

In conclusion

I’d like to hand out a great big THANK YOU for the organizers at blogchatter. Your work is amazing, tireless, enthusiastic, encouraging, and wonderful. I cannot say thank you enough. Bless you, every one.

Cheryl

“I pass on the Baton of Blogchatter Ebook Carnival to Ankita Bhoye, whose Ebook Getting the 21st Century Home is also a part of the mix.
 
About Ankita’s Ebook: ‘Getting The 21st Century Home’ is an e-book that I created along with Blogchatter’s A-Z challenge. It is a compilation of 26 articles with different styles, spaces and techniques of Interior Design that will help you set-up your home and make it a 21st century home.

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