Blog to Book in About a Year

I am sure most of you who read this want to write a book. In fact, I am willing to bet that over 90% of you have either thought about it or started it. Now that my first book has been published, I figured I would explain how I actually got the beast done. Looking back, it took me about a year from concept to finished book. During that year, I also started my blog (actually, before I started the book). It turns out that the blog really helped me write the book. Blogging turned out to be one of the best methods to get the book done. Let me explain.

Instant Support Group

Staying motivated can be a challenge. Couple that with the loneliness of writing and you can get off in the weeds fast. Luckily, blogging gives you an instant community that is always eager to help. The great thing is, there are so many writers/bloggers out there that are facing the same issues and challenges you are. By blogging, you get connected to this network.

Style Crafting

Early on, I had no style. My writing was all over the place. In order to develop a style, you have to write (can you see a theme here). By writing, your writers voice emerges. This voice is in every writer but needs to be nurtured and even coaxed out. By blogging, I found my voice and style since by blogging, it’s easy to experiment with different methods and styles.

Discipline

It’s so easy to blog that there is no real excuse to not write something. In fact, my first couple of blog posts were all private writing journal entries just so I could get used to seeing my words “in print.” The discipline also comes from people that follow you and encourage you to write more. Nothing motivates me more than “fans” that want more of my writing. It’s kind of addictive in a weird, semi-famous on the D-list, kind of way.

Instant Feedback

The instant nature of blogging has a great upside (or downside, depending on your attitude). You can actually tell if people are reading your stuff (or not). This is a powerful feature because you get to try different things to see how they work. Books are bad for doing that since they take so long to write and print.

Building Your Following

Part of writing a book is to get the word out. Your publisher will do little to help you with this. By blogging, you can create a following that will be the natural audience for your book. Couple that with the instant feedback and it’s almost like your readers are helping you write the book. I cannot stress this enough. Building your following while writing the book is the way to go. Do not wait till you get the book deal or the book is done. This whole Social Media, Inbound Marketing thing takes time. Tons of time.

My Challenge to You

If you listen closely (put your ear to your monitor), you can hear all the “but Jarie, I have not time”, “but Jarie, I don’t know what to write about” or “but Jarie, no one wants to read my drivel.” These are the most common excuses to not write a book. Remember, 90% of you actually want to write a book but never do. So, my challenge to all of you is go write it. Use the most powerful motivation tool available, your blog. Tell your fellow bloggers about your plan. Have your readers help you write your masterpiece. If you are still stuck or think that a book is just too big a challenge, then do a blog series. If I had known how motivating a blog series was, I would have done that for my first book.

One more thing. Anytime your motivation wanes or some knucklehead tells you your book dream is a waste of time, drop me a note. I know what it’s like to sit in front of a blank screen, wondering if it’s all worth it. Believe me, it is.

Author Bio

Jarie Bolander is an engineer by training and an entrepreneur by nature. He is presently VP of R&D at Tagent, a company working on breakthrough technology that will help reduce medical errors. Jarie also blogs about innovation, management and entrepreneurship at The Daily MBA and has recently published his first book, Frustration Free Technical Management. You can also follow him on Twitter @thedailymba

Jarie Bolander

Jarie Bolander is an engineer by training and an entrepreneur by nature. He is presently working on breakthrough technology that will reduce medical errors. Jarie also volunteers with SCORE (http://www.sfscore.org), a national organization that helps small businesses succeed. When not volunteering or at his day job, he can be found running or biking through Golden Gate Park or swimming in San Francisco Bay. Jarie also blogs about innovation, management and entrepreneurship at http://www.thedailymba.com and is working on a book on technical management that will be published by http://booklocker.com You can also follow him on Twitter: @thedailymba 

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  8 comments for “Blog to Book in About a Year

  1. January 23, 2010 at 3:24 pm

    Thanks Jarie!

    I will try to stay in touch. My book is 70% finished and it’s about finding the you before you can find the love of your life. You are right,lots of things get in the way. Thanks for the encouragement.

  2. January 23, 2010 at 6:22 pm

    Steve-
    Good work getting 70% of it done, Keep me posted. I always like to hear about authors who get their book out.

    Jarie

  3. January 24, 2010 at 7:31 pm

    Jarie,

    Great post. You nailed several things that sometimes trip up authors. At FastPencil we’re working on providing even more ways for authors to get the word out about their books. But even with all the tools in one place, nothing will ever completely replace an author’s own sweat equity.

  4. January 24, 2010 at 8:50 pm

    Erik-
    Thanks. I will take a look at FastPencil. I am always interested in places that help authors succeed.

    Jarie

  5. January 24, 2010 at 9:21 pm

    I am currently reading Jarie’s book, Frustration Free Technical Management. I am only about a third of the way in, but I have to say that Jarie’s book seems made to order for helping one avoid frustration when working on a group-blog project. Thanks Jarie, Chris!

  6. January 25, 2010 at 5:13 am

    Chris-
    Thanks for the kind words. I am glad it’s helping.

    Jarie

  7. January 25, 2010 at 8:25 am

    Very cool Jaire, thanks so much. I too want to write a book. Do I understand correctly that your book is a collection of your blog posts, or did you use the blog to discuss subtantive issues with your followers about the topic of the book. Also, where can we find your book? Nils

  8. January 25, 2010 at 9:06 am

    Nils-
    I used the blog to discuss and work on the substantive issues. The blog helped a lot in really crafting my overall style and the feel of the book.
    You can buy the book on amazon or booklocker.com. I am working on a Kindle version that should be out soon.

    Thanks for your support

    Jarie

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