Bloggers in Print

If you’re a blogger, you’re a writer (I can’t attest to the skill, mind you). Just by blogging, you’re creating a volume of content. Have you ever thought about compiling them into a book to reach a different audience?

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22!

I maintain several blogs.

  • Swanstuff – This is the lint trap of my mind. The topics are all over the place. I’d be hard-pressed to unify them into a coherent book. I began that blog to maintain my sanity. The only time I kept a journal, I was embarrassed to read it. Blogging fulfills my need for people to read what I write, even if it’s just a few readers. This is the first time I’ve publicized it, though. Not every post reflects what I believe now. Be warned.
  • Writes with Swans – Similar to the concept of Dances with Wolves, I write with my namesake. This was writing advise, articles, thoughts, and whatever struck me about the writing process. That blog has yielded to…
  • This blog – Why double the effort? My views on writing and publishing are recorded here.
  • Book blogs – I wanted a way to communicate with the kids who read my books. So far, none have visited. Not even worth the link but you can have it anyway.

I know several humor bloggers, Bonnie, Roxanne, and Doug to name three, the Walter’s marriage blog, a few artists and health nuts. Which blogs are suited to book compilations and what kind of blogs aren’t?

Are:

  • Humor blogs
  • Single topic blogs

Aren’t:

  • Poorly written blogs (hey, everyone can improve)
  • Smorgasbord blogs like my Swanstuff blog that covers any and all topics with no sort of common thread.

What do you do, just copy and paste all your blogs into a book? Not quite.

Thanks to Erma Bombeck and Dave Barry, humor bloggers have it easy, but in all cases, there are a few things to keep in mind:

  • A post does not necessarily equal a chapter. Group common thread posts together. Can they be turned into a longer, better chapter together? If not, is there a valuable order of posts? Chronological almost never works.
  • Not every blog post is a keeper. Everybody has an off day, so weed out yours or rework them to be better.
  • Consider voice. Ideally, your blog has a single voice across posts. Is it a good one? Might it be worth creating a new voice with some judicious rewrites?
  • Think about bridging your posts/chapters. This will probably require some new writing, perhaps a framing device.
  • Build – A good book has a beginning, middle, and end. Even though your book is likely episodic, you want to think about progressing the viewpoint to a natural conclusion. If you write a humor blog, read humor books and get a feel for them. Read books within your topic to see how they work. Your book doesn’t have to be the same but know what works in theirs, so it can work for you.
  • Length – You should be aiming for 150 – 200 pages, more if the topic demands it.
  • For topic blogs, perhaps you should use your content as a base and rewrite using your posts as a well from which to draw.

If you do maintain a quixotic blog like mine, look deeper. Are there groupings of individual topics? Many of my posts discuss politics, society, science, family, and weird stuff. With some work, I could combine similarly-themed posts in chapters.

What about your blog?

2 thoughts on “Bloggers in Print”

  1. I just created a brief pdf ebook compilation of a blog series on slow living, and did a little of what you recommend here. But I have been thinking that I might want to use it as the base for a bigger book, and then, I really will need to do some rewriting, some adding to it and a way to tie it all together.

    Like

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