From blog to book, how to take the big leap
What happens when you decide to step out of the virtual world and face real people? The evolution of entrepreneurship has given rise to a large number of aspirational careers, and Indian blogging is a billion-dollar industry when combined with e-commerce. Bloggers flourish, promoting an aspirational lifestyle, but the rules of this game are changing. Part-time bloggers are taking the plunge and exploring this opportunity full-time. The Internet boom, combined with smartphones, is helping bloggers connect with a wider audience. This is no more an SEO fight; blogging is a way to build an audience and form real connections.
Writing a book is a natural progression for a blogger. It is still the simplest and most lucrative way to monetise your work. Money cannot be the only driving force; you have to be genuinely proud of your work. Most blog-to-book transitions are based on a very strong central theme, which the author has had as work-in-progress, ever since she started blogging. It’s like moving from a carefree relationship into a faithful marriage.
Here are a few tips that will help you, if you are contemplating writing a book.
Content dynamics differ
Stepping into an author’s shoes is a tough commitment. Blogging is driven by topical content, involving finding a wave and riding the digital spike. But writing a book requires much more focus and persistence. It forces you to string ideas into cohesive story-telling. You could test the market by publishing an e-book, as the first step towards building something more tangible, like a book. Writing a book offers interesting new opportunities and visibility. It also gives you the confidence to scale up your creativity.
Trust your followers
Use the strengths of the existing platform to jump-start your career as an author. Invest emotionally in your blog. It inspires me to push my limits and step up every time someone cheers for me. The nature of digital media allows you to form communities. Writing my first book was actually suggested by my followers. As bloggers, we garner polarised opinions, but the ones that follow your work will always be your pillars of strength. These brand loyalists will be a reality check every time negativity starts overpowering your decision to write a book.
You just challenged the entire universe.
The moment you decide to write a book, you have accepted an open challenge of competing with digital and conventional print media. My only advice is to pick a topic that is intriguing and gives you enough scope to expand your idea. It has to come from within, only then will you be able to sustain and enjoy the pressure. Have clarity of thought while picking the title and image for your cover page; this will help you be confident about the first impression.
Evaluate the pros and cons of publishing
Here’s an interesting trivia: only two percent of bloggers dare to transition from blog to book. It’s a very tempting proposition for a blogger to fantasise about getting published and flaunt the author tag. Publishing professionals are hovering the digital space for interesting ideas, and they are open to unconventional stories, which they expect from a blogger. Traditional publishing may involve months's work to convert your final manuscript into a book. You also have the option of self publishing, which, according to me, is a revolutionary idea. The only drawback is that you will need much more effort to distribute and market the book. Whether you get published or publish yourself, there’s no compromise on the quality of content.
Complete the cycle.
Once you have cracked the deal and are on the verge of getting on the shelf, don’t forget to complete the cycle by involving your blog followers. Marketing your book is as important as writing one. Use social media tools like Google+, catalyse reviews and network with the publishing community. Capitalise your hold as a digital influencer to reach out and connect as an author.
Every blog has the start, if not an entire book, in place. The dynamics of your skill will change; be agile and adjust to the new phase of creativity. Every blogger dreams of being an author. These tips could be the starting point of your journey ahead.