Publishing

Why Blogging Your Book Works

Why Blogging Your Book WorksWhile giving a non-fiction writers class with Mike Drew, we trained authors to create their books in a series of blog entries. A student in the course posed some interesting questions:

Why blog your book?
Why try to write to various personality types in your blog?
What’s the benefit?
I think I have a voice and a natural way of writing that at least a few folks already like – so why change?
Why not just write a book and see what happens?

“Think of your non-fiction book as a Book 2.0,” I responded. “You needn’t, and shouldn’t, write your book the traditional way.”

Let me explain what I meant.

Way back at the inception of the Internet, I clearly remember hearing a lament for the paper book as we knew it. What with the electronic ebb and flow and data, who would need real books? More important, who would buy them?

Yet, instead of dooming the book, the Internet has altered the way books work, which is a good thing for 90% of would be non-fiction authors. In the same way that the Internet has tipped the field in favor of the common musician, so it has for the common non-fiction author.

For a non-fiction author who isn’t Stephen Covey or Stephen Ambrose, no publisher will market your book for you. And that means you have to create content, an audience, and a platform before you try to sell your book – lest it, and likely your career as an author, be damned.

Web 2.0 has already become a cliché term, but it is still an exciting concept: The term means that interaction between audience and website enhances websites and the web, while the changing web does the same to its audience. Web 2.0 involves a continuous feedback loop in which the audience gets more of what it wants in the form of its kind of website, and the web gets what it wants int the form of a more opted-in audience.

The term Book 2.0 is a concept that describes a similar interaction between author and audience. If you blog your non-fiction book, and do so in the measured, calculated fashion to be described in this blog in the weeks to come, you’ll simultaneously get feedback as to the nature and desires of your audience, at the same time gaining an opted-in audience likely to buy the book when you finally do publish it.

No longer must you as a non-fiction author sit in an ivory tower for a year, creating in isolation what you hope will be a great and well-received book. Nor should you. By creating a blog with your content, finding an audience for it, paying careful attention to the feedback you get, and then altering and retesting, you’ll be creating a book and an audience already poised to purchase it when publishing time comes.

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Chris Maddock is a writer, speaker, writing trainer and marketing strategist. He cut his teeth at the Roy H. Williams Marketing Firm, the company of advertising innovator, Roy H. Williams (aka “The Wizard of Ads”). Chris spent years there as its Director of Message Development.

Presently, as a Wizard of Ads Partner, he acts as ad strategist and copywriter, creating content of all forms. He also advises other writers and authors, and teaches classes at Wizard Academy and abroad.  Chris may be reached at chris@do512.com.

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10 Responses to “Why Blogging Your Book Works”

  1. brady November 8, 2008 at 12:01 pm #

    I took a class from Chris, and it that was great. Specifically, it really spoke to the scientist in me. Getting continuous feedback is going to be so valuable in me writing my book and building my company!!!

  2. Peter Nevland November 10, 2008 at 2:23 pm #

    Nice, Chris. So when are you blogging your book? Or are you going to blog your book about blogging your book in a continuous feedback loop? 🙂

  3. BFuniv Rector May 31, 2009 at 3:10 am #

    I've done similar work with Squidoo pages. Non-fiction stuff that I had written has found a place and an audience, and received valuable feed back. I've received help and supportive comments even from acknowledged successful authors like Seth Godin.

    I've turned a corner and started a fiction book online, Complicit Simplicity, and I'm working on it as if blogging a novel.

    I'll continue to create non-fiction online also. As you say, building a platform is necessary for success. Book 2,0 is a community building that platform one plank at a time.

  4. JohnnyJohnny September 10, 2009 at 3:51 pm #

    Is there is specific site that lends itself to book blogging better than others? I would like to get this started this week and it sounds like a perfect avenue to accomplish my objective.
    Thanks!
    JJ

  5. Scott Mathews November 11, 2009 at 6:29 am #

    I just got off the phone with a writer friend who is very well informed and told me that if I want any chance of getting my non-fiction published, I had better get busy blogging and build a platform through a website. I have heard this before but this time I’m taking action. This post just confirmed my intel. Now I have to learn how to blog. I’ll pay someone to design the site.

  6. William Jones July 16, 2010 at 12:46 am #

    Book 2.0 and notions of blogging a book are very interesting. But where are the examples?

    Also, how do you avoid spam?

  7. artnews November 22, 2010 at 4:09 pm #

    is anyone here aware of an author who has blogged his/her research on a non-fiction book? I’m in the early- to middle stages of researching a book, have a publisher, but thought it might be interesting to chronicle what i’m learning and seeing along the way.

    • Nina Amir March 8, 2012 at 2:46 am #

       I just came across this post. I actually have blogged two books. The second, much longer book, was picked up by a publisher. In fact, it is on the topic of blogging books and is based on my blog, http://www.howtobogabook.com. The book will be released in late April by Writer’s Digest books.

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