I listened to a free webinar from Writer’s Digest on How to Blog a Book, which is a book by Nina Amir that came out recently.
The webinar was one week ago today.
Here’s the link to the book. It came out from Writer’s Digest publishing.
Nina said that we have to blog every day (or on an unrelenting schedule).
She said not to give your content away so quickly, that posts should be 250-500 words, and that you need to lead up to the book for at least 6 months.
She posted images of Julie & Julia, Stuff White People Like, 101 Uses for My Ex-Wife’s Wedding Dress, etc. These were blogs that became popular and that landed their authors book deals. She told us that we could do it the other way, too. That we could actually write our book on a blog. She said that doing it the other way is called “booking a blog.” I think she made that up.
She said that 81% of Americans claim to have a book in their heads that they want to write, and that only 2% of people actually do.
She suggested that the medium of blogging could help us to develop the book and the discipline to write at the same time. She suggested that the reason it works to write a book on your blog is that it’s efficient: you’ll be building your platform while writing your book. She also said that she heard an editor at some big-name publishing house say that blogs are a great test market for the sale-ability of a book.
She was careful to point out that nonfiction works better on blogs.
And she was sure to remind us that we have to give people a reason to buy the printed version of our book that we’ve (presumably) blogged and sold to a publisher. That we should leave out chapters of special features or information. She said that people will buy the book because it’s difficult to read a blog as if it’s a book.
But here’s the thing. We all know that the ratio of blogs to blog-to-book deals is staggeringly tiny. Amir suggested that there might be 72 book deals from blogs each year.
How many blogs are there? I couldn’t even hazard a guess. Certainly hundreds of thousands.
And how many people are there who believe that they are swell writers, but who are actually quite terrible?
So still, even with the advice, a great idea, and competitive writing chops, it seems that odds are still exceedingly slim, and that people out blogging books are going to add to the excess of free content, thereby making it more difficult still for writers to get paid for writing. And it is already incredibly difficult, even for excellent writers.
And now I find that what I hoped would be illuminating was actually annoying and disillusioning. And a webinar, which is totally dorky.
And it also made me hate Writer’s Digest a little bit. I’ve had a minor suspicion that they’re really just a factory for content that’s designed to extract money from a bunch of desperate writer hopefuls. HOWEVER, I do find their publication to be incredibly helpful, and Writer’s Market is amazing, and I tend to get overly cynical whenever I’m disappointed. So next week, let’s hope the cynicism wanes.
Till then, what do ya’ll think? Anybody with plans to blog a book? Anybody tried?