Allison's Book Bag

Current Read #29: How to Blog A Book by Nina Amir

Posted on: June 29, 2015

MusingMondaysWhat are you reading right now?
What do you think of it?
Why did you chose it?

My dad is one of the two men in my life who has positively influenced my writing aspirations. Besides having taken writing courses, created family newsletters, and contributed to specialized publications, my dad started to blog in the fall of 2012. As part of this latest writing venture, he read and shared a book with me called How to Blog a Book by Nina Amir.

This 168-page guide, published by Writer’s Digest Books, focuses on nonfiction. While my dream is to become a novelist, writing articles is a strength of mine, and so I still found it of interest. The chapters are fairly short, with subsections that were initially written as posts and thus run about 250-500 words, and at least half of them can still be found online at How to Blog a Book. Despite this brevity, the guide felt quite thorough to me. It covers everything from reasons to blog a book, how to prepare, where to post, how to drive traffic to your writing, what to do when you’re ready to convert your posts into a book, and finally success stories.

Foremost, I gained from How to Blog a Book an appreciation of how much work such a task requires. To start, just like you should for a print project, you’ll need to define your topic and mission, hone your subject with a pitch that’s focused enough to write in twenty-five words, map out your content, and decide on what your resources are. After that, you’ll also need to create a business plan. This involves determining page count, text features, and back matter. In addition, it requires that you consider who are your potential readers, where to promote, how to angle, and what material can complement your writings. All of these insights have given me ideas about how I might approach the creation of a second blog, even one that I don’t intend to turn into a book, and that excites me.

Just as importantly, How to Blog a Book also gave me a better awareness of how much promotion is involved in such a task. Amir states that one must wear many hats, that not only of a writer and blogger, but also that of a business person and social lite. Regards the latter, to drive traffic to your blog, you’ll need to create a fan base, increase the ease with which your blog can be found, develop an expert status, and even repurpose to e-zines after you have rewritten at least 20% of your content. If this sounds somewhat exhausting, Amir goes further by recommending that you spend EVERY day on multiple networks to promote your project. All of these insights gave me a reality check about how extroverted I’d need to become should I expect a blog-to-book project to gain recognition from publishers.

Amir offers a couple of statistic when trying to encourage ones to blog a book. First, Neilson Bookscan says that the average book now sells less than 250 in a year and 3000 in its lifespan. With such low odds, there seems good reason to focus on sharing content online instead of in print. Second, according to Publisher’s Marketplace, fifty blogs landed deals in 2009 out of over one million. While that number is low, Amir notes that there are still many reasons to blog, including that you can get published as you write, test your market idea, develop a platform, and get feedback on your manuscript. All of these reasons are worthy ones for an aspiring author to consider. And should you decide to try to blog a book, Amir’s guide will prove an invaluable help in this task.

2 Responses to "Current Read #29: How to Blog A Book by Nina Amir"

valuing your post Allison as I’ve just won that book! yay 🙂 and am looking forward to digging into it !

How to Blog a Book is now on my wish list. I’ll look forward to hear what you think about the guide. 😉

Off now to visit your blog!

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