Want to convert your writing from blog to book? Just because you can, doesn’t mean you should.
But, you say, it’s so easy now! Now you can turn your blog into a “high quality book” with a few clicks! Numerous companies say so and make it frighteningly easy. But should you?
Stop! Wait! Think! What do you mean by a “high quality book”? All your blog posts slammed together and printed between glossy hard covers without discrimination or editing? OK, there could be room in your life for one copy, for your own pleasure and for the record. But don’t expect other people to be interested.
We read blogs and books differently, and therefore they must be written differently from the start or edited to within an inch of their lives. Here are a few reasons off the top of my head.
- Blogs are modular, like a series of magazine articles or diary entries or photos or chats. So we read them one or two at a time. How many times have you read someone’s entire blog from start to finish? Even with my favourites, that has only happened twice.
- Blogs provide entertainment or inspiration or companionship or information or challenge in small doses, just what you may need on a particular day. But we tend to read books as a whole, and consider them as a whole.
- Blogs may be focused (a good start) but bloggers are free to cover different topics and respond to events of the moment. We expect books to stay on topic.
- We may enjoy a blog—but we commit to a book. Blogs are served up to you, take it or leave it. Books you have to seek out, buy or take out of a library.
- Blogs are a conversation and readers can and do join in.
- Most blogs are free to read; books are bought, whether by you, your library or your friend. Blogs cost little or nothing to produce, so nothing much is at stake; books are expensive and risky to publish.
Too many bullet points! And even a couple would be sufficient to make you question whether blog-to-book is as easy as ABC. Or worthwhile.
I enjoy blogs and I love reading books. And please don’t let my harsh words deter you from the blog-to-book plan: it’s an exciting process, as I’ve discovered.
You see, I’ve spent the last six months working on a book version of Doris Carnevali’s blog, Engaging With Aging. When I’m done, I’m hoping that fans of the blog will barely notice that anything has changed, because of course I want to offer all the author’s wisdom without changing the quality of her inimitable voice. But behind the scenes, even a blog that I love and respect requires a lot of work.
So, obviously, I do believe blog-to-book works for some. I’ll explain the process I’ve been going through in a future blog post, because that might help you if you decide to go down that track. I have found the project exciting and full of surprises, and I’m not done yet!
I wish you luck and fun if you decide to turn your blog into a book. I’ve learned heaps and am keen to share.