Writing a blog post is pretty easy. But writing a book is hard, right?
It doesn’t have to be! If you’re already a blogger or writer, you can turn your articles into a book, and make the entire process of becoming an author a whole lot easier.
Step 1. Generating Book Ideas
The first step to writing a book is coming up with a book idea. So grab your notebook and a pen, and get ready to brainstorm.
Write down these questions and answer them honestly:
“What do I know about that other people could benefit from learning?”
“What information would I love to share with the world?”
“What am I better at than anyone else I know?”
Answering these questions will help you come with a good list of topics for potential books. If you’re like me, after brainstorming for a few days, you’ll probably come up with 10 or more book ideas.
The key, then, is to narrow it down to a single idea so you can start on your book.
Step 2. Choosing Your Book Idea
Once you’ve got your list of book ideas, you need to decide on just one to start with. Write down these questions to help you narrow your focus:
“If I could only write one book in my lifetime, what would it be?”
“If I could only share one message with the world, what would it be?”
“Which book idea makes me smile just thinking about it?”
When you find that one book idea that you’re fired up about, it’ll be a lot easier to write it.
Step 3. Outlining
Once you’ve chosen your book idea, it’s time to give it an outline so that you understand the big picture of what must be in your book, and, just as importantly, what shouldn’t be in your book.
Most first-time authors make the mistake of trying to put everything they know into a book. If you make that mistake, it’ll probably take you years to write and edit the book because it’s not going to fit together.
Always remember: structure first, then content. When you get the structure right for your book, it’ll be easy to fill it with the right content.
Your book structure needs to be organized. That’s why having a theme or focus for your book will help. For example, instead of writing a book about how to succeed in business, why not write a book about a specific aspect of business, such as marketing, operations, sales, or finance.
You could also narrow down the focus by writing for a niche market, such as doing business in a specific industry, or doing business in a foreign country.
The key is to pick a niche or focused topic that forces you not to get scattered and ramble on.
Here are some questions that will help you when you’re outlining your book:
What key topics or ideas must someone learn from this book?
Is there a process or procedure people must go through to achieve the objective laid out in the book? If so, can I organize it in that order?
Step 4. Writing
Now that you’ve got your outline, it’s time to write. This is where your blog comes in.
Take a look at all your blog articles and see if anyone of them cover key topics for your book. If so, you can just copy/paste those articles into your book to start. Of course, you’ll want to edit them for the book, rewrite some sections, add extra material, and so forth. But, if you’ve already covered a topic on your blog, then that means you’ve already written part of your book!
Another way to help make the writing process faster is to just focus on one section at a time. You can write one chapter or topic at a time, and write it as a blog post first. This way you get more content for you blog while you’re writing your book!
There are some things you should know about creating a book from a blog to make sure you avoid any future problems
You can’t simply copy/paste a series of blog posts and publish that as a book on most platforms. For example, on Amazon Kindle, if you did that, Amazon would remove your book because it’s all duplicate content. That’s one of the reasons why you’ll need to rewrite some of your blog posts and add extra content.
The other reason is that it will be obvious to readers that you didn’t really put much effort into it. Just publishing a series of blog posts as an eBook won’t have the structure or flow of a good book, and you’ll likely get negative reviews for a poor reading experience.
About The Author:
Tom is also the founder of EBookPublishingSchool.com, a free video training program for authors, and TCK Publishing, an eBook Publisher that specializes in publishing and marketing Kindle books online. You can connect with Tom on Twitter or Facebook.
Tom Corson-Knowles is the founder of TCK Publishing, and the bestselling author of 27 books including Secrets of the Six-Figure author. He is also the host of the Publishing Profits Podcast show where we interview successful authors and publishing industry experts to share their tips for creating a successful writing career.