I often hear potential authors say, “I don’t have time to write a book.” Yet, they quickly discover they might have already written it, and they just didn’t realize it.
That’s right. Do you have a blog where you have been consistently posting for several months or years? Yes? Then it’s very likely that you have already written all the content you need to publish a book. You just need to organize it, and edit it.
If you don’t already have a blog–which you should (it can help with SEO and more), or your blog is new, start blogging with your book in mind. Plan your content around the topics you want to cover in your book.
Here’s what that process looks like. Think of the categories of your blog as sections of your book, and think of each blog post as a chapter. Loosely organize your book by assigning each blog posts to a category, then list them in a logical order. Your book could contain a single category, or it could include several. It’s up to you.
What to do once you have enough blog content:
Remove self-promotional, time-sensitive, curated, and any content that doesn’t fit in with your book’s flow. Remove all of the CTAs (calls to action). It doesn’t make sense to promote your paid programs or affiliate offers within a book.
What’s left once you’ve done that is most likely the rough draft of your book. All you need to do now is send it for a few passes with your editor to be checked for:
- Flow: Does it follow a logical path from one chapter to the next? You’ll likely need to add or edit the beginnings and endings of your posts, and possibly add an introduction to your book.
- Spelling, grammar, and punctuation: This part is a must. However, please don’t do it yourself. Have someone else do it. It’s much too difficult to spot our own mistakes, and book readers are less forgiving than blog readers. So, this needs to be done correctly.
- Quality of Content: Enlist the help of a few friends or colleagues whom you trust to be honest with you. Ask them to read through and make a note of any content that is confusing, or that needs further expansion.
Next, make any needed revisions, have the book properly formatted and that’s it! You’re ready to publish your book!
“But no one will read repurposed content,” you say? Think again! This method has been use by blogger for years, and some of them are spectacularly successful. Consider Darren Rowse from ProBlogger.net who wrote and published his wildly popular blogging guide based entirely on the content he’d already posted on his blog. He discoverd that even though the content was available for free on his blog, people still bought the book because they preferred the convenience of having the content organized for them in one document.
Even fiction writers have discovered the magic of this method. Andy Weir, the author of “The Martian,” first published his book one chapter at a time on a blog.
So, don’t continue to let excuses hold you back from publishing your book. Use the content you’ve already written, or strategically plan your blog to turn it into a book, but either way, get publishing!