Feb 172015
 

Are you blogging or are you writing a book? Why not both!

This year marked another year at the San Francisco Writers Conference, and I had a great time. One topic that was raised in a conversation with some attendees was the idea of Amazon.com as a place to blog. What’s that, you ask? Amazon is a place for books! This is what I mean – I don’t mean posts blogs, but take your blog ideas, and expand them into books. Yes, but many of those books are Level 50 blogs (video game reference), as you will see especially in the $0.99 books.

The key, in my mind, is to make sure your writing all connects and is useful. If you’re simply blogging about the struggles of writing, that could work, but word it in such a way that others can learn from you. If you are blogging about writing events, such as the #SFWC15, put them all together and make it a book about attending writing events. One presenter made a comment that you should then present it as what is a surprising discovery, takeaway, or story you can share. Did you have beers with the writer of Lethal Weapon at 2:00 am? go skinny dipping with the author of your favorite book? Be careful about defaming someone, but maybe you don’t have to use names? The point is to take your blogs, make them relevant and connected, and put them into electronic book format. Some people don’t read blogs, but read a book or five a day, so why not reach that expanded audience?

Tools such as PressBooks.com (which I learned about in an fun panel at the #SFWC15) allows you to import your blog posts and publish them as a book. I understand Scrivener does something similar.

For covers, try 99 Designs, or maybe Fiverr. A common saying is you get what you pay for, and that may be true. But I know plenty of people who have paid A LOT and their book covers look horrible, so…. Do what you feel happy with. Also check out kboards for a forum where you can find advice on what editors and cover artists to use.

Whatever tools you are using, there is no longer a reason to limit yourself to the blog. Find yourself an editor, hire someone to do your book cover, and put it up there on Amazon as one more way people can find your writing.

 

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I studied fiction in the MA in writing program at Johns Hopkins and interned with Folio Literary Management and “The Doctor T.J. Eckleburg Review.” I have published short stories and poetry, as listed on www.JustinMSloan.com, and am a writer for Telltale Games. If you would like to keep in touch: Twitter @JustinMSloan Facebook at www.Facebook.com/Justin-M-Sloan www.linkedin.com/in/justinmsloan/

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