Who wouldn’t want to a be published author? Millions of people dream of being writers and authors and work hard every day to make this dream a reality. However, it’s not as easy as it seems. What stops most of these people is the process of writing a book. A book is not a short story – it’s a complex material where stories are intertwined and connected to each other forming a structured, congruent narrative. When you think about writing a book, probably these visions come to your head: sitting at your computer, mindlessly staring at the window and struggling to come up with a single word. The writer’s block is real and it can get so frustrating that you may forgo your dream of being an author. But the writer’s block is a consequence of your mind perceiving the task as too complicated. After all, we’ve been told from the very childhood that writing a book is a long and serious endeavor. When you look at a book from that perspective, of course, you don’t know how to move forward! There are simply too many things that occupy your mind. The better way to start writing a book is to break it down into small tasks, chapters, or even paragraphs.
As a blog owner, you’re already an author, because you’ve collected the amount of knowledge on your blog that can easily make it into a book. Only you never had a writer’s block, because you initially approached the project the right way – by breaking it down into small tasks. Now it’s time to gather it all in one place and turn it into a bestseller!
Here is an eight-step plan to turn a bunch of blog articles into a book.
How to transform a WordPress blog into a book
1. Choose a topic
Even if you have a blog niche topic it doesn’t mean that all the articles produced over the course of 5 years should go into a book. A good rule is to forget about all the articles you’ve written for now and focus on identifying the topic that will be interesting to your customers. You might want to spend some time on this task, as it’s the most important step that will affect how the book is going to be perceived by the readers. Are there any particular topics that created buzz recently? Have you seen an increased interest towards one of your articles? Is there a value in the topic that you’ve chosen?
Also, it’s advised to research your competitors before you get down to organizing your book. The more popular the chosen topic is the more chances that someone has already written a book on that topic. You want to hit a perfect balance between a popular topic and a topic that isn’t covered sufficiently online and offline.
2. Pick your articles
This is the most fun part of creating a book as you will be rummaging through the blog in search of the articles that fit the chosen topic. As you go through most relevant pieces you’ll remember all the fun you had while writing, creating, and procrastinating. At this point, you just want to pick all the articles that somehow fall under the umbrella of a topic. Don’t discard articles that are repetitive or those that aren’t written well. You can pick and sort at a later stage.
Consider choosing the articles that performed well. They might not be the exact fit for the topic, but they might give you new ideas or even force you to change the topic entirely. Look for articles that attracted most traffic, have a large number of comments, have been shared multiple times on social media, and those that are mostly text based as video content and links don’t translate well into books.
3. Organize your articles
As you read through your old articles, the book structure will start to form in your head. A book as a medium is very different from a blog. If you want the readers to enjoy the book to a full extent you need to make the reading process easy. This is achieved by creating a clear structure of chapters and writing connecting paragraphs between articles and chapters. If you’re planning to publish an educational book it’s best to start with a simpler, big picture content and then slowly reveal intricate details, complex terms, and scientific research.
4. Add the missing information
It’s always a good idea to add new information to a book. Your long-term readers will thank you for additional insights while the new readers will appreciate your effort in making a book an enjoyable reading experience. The missing information might be new research and findings but it can also be the information on how articles relate to each other. For example, introduction and conclusion are imperative parts of every book, and you’ll probably need to write them from scratch. You don’t have to write anything extraordinary, but you can add value to the book so that even the long-term readers who read every single article on your blog will find the book useful
5. Find an editor
You can edit the book yourself or you can involve a professional editor. Since blogging is very much focused on getting the point across, bloggers usually use very simple language and refrain from complex terminology. So you might be able to edit the book yourself. If you’re not sure about your knowledge of grammar or simply want a pair of second eyes then hiring an editor might be a good idea.
Another point to consider when converting your blog into a book is that your writing has probably progressed significantly and the articles that are 5 years old might not be on par with the quality of newer articles. So consider rewriting old pieces and making the language and quality aligned with your recently produced content.
6. Design a cover
A cover can help you sell the book. In fact, a cover is a crucial part of the book that should be treated with extra care. If you really want for your book to stand out, hire a professional designer. If you’re a small business owner and don’t have a budget for a professional designer, consider making a cover yourself using software like Canva. A beautiful book cover can make your book stand out among thousands of similar titles. Unfortunately, blog owners rarely take book covers seriously relying on the quality of content instead, but while the quality of content and your reputation as a blogger are important for long-term readers, the new readers will judge the book by its cover.
7. Work on formatting
It’s unlikely that your book just consists of long paragraphs of text and if it is, then you need to make it more fun to read by adding pictures, titles, and headlines. Formatting a book and turning a bunch of articles into a delightful read is a quest that takes time, precision, and mastery. Again, you can hire a professional and save time, or you can do formatting yourself using tools like Vellum.
Publishing a book is a surefire way to earn passive income and the best thing is that, as a blog owner, you already have what it takes to create a book. But publishing a book is only a part of the equation. Promoting the book is another part. A book is a great cause for a launch party. You can also use email marketing and blast announcements to your reader base. Finally, social media and Amazon are great platforms that allow you to share and advertise your book and collect ecstatic reviews and comments.