Writing a book doesn't mean you have to start from scratch. If you already have a well-established blog, you probably have a lot of content that can be easily repurposed. Let's go from blog to book in six easy steps.
I'm focusing on authors who want to get something published quickly. It's more for those who have a well-established blog and a decent amount of content. It requires little additional writing, so the process can be quicker.
On the other hand, this isn't about picking a few random posts, throwing them into a Word file and slapping a cover on it. Take the time to put together something that will be useful for your readers and worthy of your brand.
What's Your Purpose?
The very first thing to do is to clearly define why you want to go from blog to book. How will a book further your goals? Assembling a random set of blog posts to string together won't get you very far. The only way you can choose the best blog posts to feature in your book is to have a clear idea of what you want your book to do.
Are you trying to teach a process? Are you trying to attract a potential publisher or audience? Will the book help you boost your brand in a crowded marketplace? You can choose anything -- but you have to choose something.
What's Your Message?
Any reader likes to know what she's getting when she buys a book. If it's nonfiction, it's most likely because she wants to learn something. Your book needs to answer a question or solve a problem for your reader.
Having a clear message is critical. Let's say you have a lifestyle blog and you want to write a book about how to select a spring wardrobe. You could choose blog posts on finding your ideal color palette, best places to shop (online or off), accessorizing your new wardrobe, etc. You'll probably want to avoid the skincare and recipe blogs posts; they aren't going to align with the message for the book that you are writing/creating.
Choose Your Blog Posts
Now comes the fun part! You have both your purpose and your message defined, so you can start choosing the best blog posts to reach your goals.
How many posts should you use? That entirely depends on the content you have available and the message you are sharing. If you have three or four pieces of foundation content, that might be enough for a free ebook that you use as a lead magnet. If you've written blog posts in a series, that series can probably become a book very easily.
One note of warning: If you don't have as many to choose from, don't be tempted to choose posts that don't really fit your message and would require a lot of rewriting.
Every post should be evaluated with two questions in mind: Does this blog post fit in with my overall message? Will this blog post help fulfill my intended purpose?
Review and Organize Your Blog Posts
Your blog to book project is moving along! You've chosen the right content for your message and purpose. Now you need to organize them and determine if they need any editing.
First, assemble all of your blog posts in the order you think they make the most sense. For this part of the process, I would recommend putting all of the blog post content into your favorite Word processing program. You want to review the words of your book -- without any of the formatting, sidebars, etc. that would distract you if you were reading them online. Putting your words into the format that your reader will use will make it easier to organize and edit.
After the order of your posts is settled, it's time to determine if you need to edit any of them. They may have worked on their own, but now that the posts are grouped, do they need editing? Many of us adopt a style when writing a blog that might not work with something a little bit more formal, like a book. You may need to tweak the beginnings and endings of each post to make each one flow easily to the next.
Create an Introduction
Almost done! Your blog to book project needs an introduction. You might want to think of this as the first "chapter" of your book. You want to create a roadmap for your reader: Why you wrote the book (they don't necessarily need to know that the content started as a bunch of blog posts), what your message is, what you hope the reader gains by reading it, etc.
I always go back to what one of my college professors recommended: Tell them what you are going to tell them, tell them, then tell them what you told them (intro, content, conclusion).
Create A Closing With A Call To Action
Bet you saw this one coming. You don't necessarily need a closing, but do consider a clear call to action. Especially if your book is to promote you and your services, ask the reader to do something when they've read your book: go to your website, schedule a discovery call, buy your product!
Don't be afraid to ask. You've worked hard on your blog to book project, so ask for what you want with confidence.
What tips do you have for going from blog to book? Share your thoughts in the comments below!