Blogger Encourages Writers to Blog a Book

As it gets harder and harder for aspiring authors to get their books picked up by traditional publishing houses, more and more bloggers are finding publishers simply coming to them with contracts in hand. If you keep up with books at all, you know that agents and publishers have picked up several author’s blogs and made them into books since about 2005. For example, Julia & Julia, PostSecret and Stuff White People Like all appeared as blogs before they became books. Of course, Julia & Julia also became a hit movie.

For this reason, I decided to begin blogging a book about how to blog a successful book?a book that might be found by an agent or acquisitions editor trolling the Internet for publishable fodder.

When asked why I would even consider blogging a book about how to blog a book I replied, “I’m doing it because blogging a book represents a great idea.” It’s true! In the Internet Age?and given the current state of traditional publishing?writers have to become more creative. They have to take their careers into their own hands. They have to become their own PR representatives and promotion and marketing directors. They have to start their own publishing companies. They have to take advantage of the current technology.

I wants to encourage other writers to begin blogging their books. Even if their books aren’t discovered, doing so provides a great way to actually get a book written. I started blogging a book that I’ll complete in less than four months. I never write more than about 500 words per day; on average my posts have only 200-300 words.

Plus, the price is right. Some bloggers may choose to have a hosted blog, paying about $100 per year. Others may start out with a free blog, which means their start up cost is zilch! And each time they hit the “publish” button on their blogging software (which is free), they self-publish content for free.

Additionally, if a blogger writes good copy and promotes the blog well, he or she might actually gain more readers than with a traditionally published book. One of my blogs, gets about 1,750 unique visitors per month. Other bloggers get millions of readers per month, but if I published a traditional book, I wouldn’t likely sell 100 books in a month. The average nonfiction book sells between 250 and 1,000 copies in its lifetime, let alone in a year. I reach more readers with my blog than I would with a book in a bookstore. That’s a great reason for any aspiring author or writer to want to blog a book or simply to blog.

Blogs constitute one of the best ways to build the coveted writer’s platform. In the past, going out and speaking to audiences provided writers with that platform. Today, you can build one from the comfort of your home. I’m not saying that a writer’s platform doesn’t benefit from some talks given here and there; it does. However, a blog read by thousands of people each day goes a long way towards impressing a publisher or selling your self-published book.

Writers: For Whom Are You Writing?

Writers can ply their trade for lots of audiences: academic, television, radio, Internet, young, old, domestic, or foreign.

The number of distinct audiences is staggering.

If you’re a business writer, just have a look at various sectors that are depicted in Standard Industrial Classification Codes (SIC’s). There have to be thousands of them, and each one constitutes at least one audience, and probably a lot more.

As writers, we have implicit audiences, as well.

Years ago, I heard that daily newspapers are written so an eight grader could understand their contents. That’s an implied audience, right there: the average eighth grader.

The President of The United States has a chief speechwriter, who in a very real sense has an audience of one: the Commander In Chief. If he fails to please his boss, he’s beating the bushes with a laptop, but his implied audience is huge, and it includes the collective unconscious of Americans dating back to the Revolution.

I saw a movie the other night about songwriter Cole Porter who made a successful transition writing for the New York stage to movies. In a memorable scene, he is told by a studio head to tone down his sophistication and instead to write for the average person.

That abstraction of the average moviegoer is another implied audience.

Of course, very often a creative writer is really communing with himself. He is his own audience and chief critic.

While he may be paid to craft a feature article for publication, his own standards of excellence or cleverness inform his work to such an extent that a higher self, the writer he wants to be, is the one who is screening and evaluating his output.

Writing Tips – Dealing With Writer’s Block

The blank piece of paper. It’s the hardest thing for the writer to deal with. Sometimes he can stare at it for hours on end and by the time he is done staring it’s still a blank piece of paper. Welcome to the world of writer’s block. Any writer worth his salt has gone through it. The thing that separates the successful writers from the ones who don’t make it is the ability to get through it. Hopefully, the following tips will give you some ammunition to deal with writer’s block.

Please note that this list is by no means written in stone and the only options available to you. They are just some exercises that many writers agree can work.

The one thing you can do to get through writer’s block, believe it or not, is to just walk away. Put down the pen and paper or keyboard of whatever it is you use to put your thoughts down and just take a walk. It doesn’t matter where. If it’s a nice sunny day, take a walk to the park. Sit on a bench and observe your surroundings. Don’t just look, but really observe. Concentrate on the birds. See if you can identify some of them. Stare at a blade of grass or a flower and watch how it moves in the wind. Do whatever you can to get your mind off your writing. By the time you get back home you will many times find that the ideas just begin to flow.

If getting away from your writing isn’t in your nature then there are some exercises you can do while you are writing that can help jog some ideas loose. One of the best methods is to stop writing whatever it is you are working on and start writing something completely different. If you’re writing a murder mystery and can’t come up with the final revelation of how the murder was committed, stop writing about the mystery and start writing a poem, or a to do list for people who want to get into the writing business. Get your mind off of the specific thing that you’re writing about but still keep your mind active in the writing mode. Many times you will find that the idea you are looking for will just pop into your head.

Another thing you can do to get past writer’s block is to do a writing exercise. Think about the topic you are writing on and make a checklist of all related topics that you can think of to that topic. For example, let’s say you’re writing a non fiction book about mole and wart removal and you’re looking for related topics to add to the book to reinforce the methods discussed for mole and wart removal. Think about what things are associated with health in general. Make a list. You’ll probably come up with diet, cleanliness, exercise and a number of other things. This will give you additional ideas for things you can include in your book such as a chapter on diet and exercise. Maybe a section on the immune system since moles and warts are usually caused by weak immune systems. By simply thinking of related material you’ll be surprised on what you can come up with. Don’t just focus on the main topic. Expand your mind and your book will expand.