It’s time for us to lift the curtain on some major changes here at Pressbooks! We’ve spent a lot of time over the last month doing some much-needed maintenance across the platform, including theme improvements and changes to the user experience for institutions using single-sign on technology. These past weeks also included important work on
By Nina Amir
You have likely heard it said that a book provides the best business card you can hand out. This statement is not an empty claim. Authoring a book makes you an authority on your topic as well as an expert in your field. When it comes to business, this can give you a leg up on your competition—if that competition has not authored a book or if your book is more popular.
Many busy entrepreneurs don’t feel they have time to write a book. If you are like most businesspeople, you probably write an enormous amount already. You may have embraced social media and blogging in particular. If so, you turn out tons of content every week or month on your blog. And you probably think that with all that blogging, you don’t have time for an additional writing project, like a book.
Bloggers Blog Books
You can use your blog to help you become an author. You can blog a book—compose your book manuscript on your blog. Decide to write a blog post a day (or as many times per week you want to post to your blog) with the intention of creating a book manuscript in the process. Every blog post then becomes one small part of the book you create.
If you already post consistently on your blog, you have enough time to write a book—without doing even one different or extra thing. (Well, you might have to approach you blogging differently, but that’s it.) Plus, creating your book in post-sized bits makes writing a book feel easier and more manageable than tackling the project on top of all your other work.
How to Blog a Client and Customer-Attracting Book
To blog a book related to your business or that will attract clients and customers, you need to follow a few basic steps.
I’m going to assume you already have a WordPress.org blog or that you are using Pressbooks to blog a book. If not, your first step is to create a blog or sign up for a free Pressbooks account.
To begin blogging your business-boosting book, follow these seven steps. Doing so will help you blog your book in record time.
- Choose a topic for your book that supports your business and your brand. Whether or not you blogged prior to deciding to blog a book, determine the most marketable topic for your book or the subject that best serves your business and build your brand. Your book should bring in more clients and customers. When blogging a book, you don’t jump aimlessly from topic to topic. You move in a focused manner from the beginning of your book to the end.
- Evaluate your book’s marketability. Although you want your blogged book to support your business, you also want it to be a viable business proposition—a book you can turn into an e-book or print book and sell. (Or maybe you want to give it away for free to attract readers to your mailing list or to attract leads.) Determine if the idea solves a problem, adds value or in some way fills a need for readers. If you book has a market, is unique, adds value, and supports your other products and services, it is a viable business proposition. Be sure you know who your readers are and how many of them exist; this is your target market. Also analyze the competition—the other books on the topic. Determine how to make yours stand out from the pack. With this information, take another look at your book idea and make sure it is the most marketable one you can write.
- Map out your book’s content. Take the time to brainstorm all the possible content you could include in your book. You can do this with a mind map. When you finish, organize the items into a table of contents.
- Break down each chapter into post–sized bits. You will write each chapter in 300-to-500-word pieces—blog posts. So create a blog plan by chunking down each chapter into 15 to 20 subheadings. You also can develop a content plan by determining how many questions to answer, problems to solve or benefits to feature. Each one of these subheadings, subtopics, questions, etc., becomes a blog post. Or you might need multiple posts to cover each one adequately. If you have an idea of each chapter’s length, you can determine how many subheadings, or posts, you’ll need to write to complete the chapter.
- Create a business plan for your book. Take the information you accumulated in Step #2 about markets and competition and decide how to approach those markets. Think about how you will promote your book as you blog it and after it has been published.
- Commit to a schedule. Decide how many days you publish blog posts, and stick to it. The more often you blog, the faster you gain readers. You also get your book written faster if you keep to a schedule. It’s best to plan on writing at least two to three days per week; five days per week is better, especially at first. This helps you attract more readers and gain more visibility in the search engines.
What to Do When You Finish Blogging the Book
When you have finished your manuscript, you can produce a book using Pressbooks. If you blogged your book in Pressbooks, you are ahead of the game. If not, you need to follow these steps:
Export an XML file from your WordPress.org blog. Go to WordPress Tools > Export. Choose the Date Range during which you blogged your book. So, if you blogged from January 1 through June 30, export all the posts from that period. If you filed your blogged-book posts in a particular category, you can choose to export that category instead.
Save the XML file to your hard drive’s download folder.
Next, log in to Pressbooks. In the My Catalog dropdown menu, add a New Book.
Name your book. (It will be called a site because you are creating a Pressbooks site/blog.)
Now, import your XML file to create the content in your book. Click on Utilities > Import. Find your XML file in your downloads folder.
Go to the Text > Organize area and work with your content, dragging and dropping as need be. However, if you blogged your book with a sound plan, everything should have fallen into place and created a book when you imported.
You now can edit your book, add or delete photos, add front and back matter, and book information. Also choose a theme.
If you have any previously unpublished content to add, you can do that at this point as well. Copy and paste the sections from your favorite word-processing program into Pressbooks.
You are now ready to produce a book. With Pressbooks, you can get the output you need to create a digital (e-book) or a print book. I suggest you do both by exporting your project as mobi, EPUB, and PDF files.
To learn more about how to make a book, download our free ebook, The Pressbooks Guide to Self-Publishing.
Why Entrepeneurs Want Two Book Formats
Why do you need both a print and a digital version of your book? Simple. You can’t hand a prospective client or customer an e-book. Remember: You want the best business card available. You also want a book to sell or give away when you speak.
You do want an e-book, though. A digital version of your book allows you to:
- Easily send it to potential clients
- Have it available for clients and customers who prefer to read digital books
- Make your content easily searchable
- Stay current with the times
- Update your book easily and quickly
Plus, if you speak at live events or even meet people when you don’t have your book handy, you can give them the link to the e-book. Even better, use an SMS service that allows potential readers and customers to text a number and then a password or code to receive the e-book free in their email box.
Why a Blog and a Book Boosts Your Business
In the process of blogging your book, you create the online discoverability you want for your company. As you publish each installment on a frequent and regular basis—a small bit of a chapter, the higher up in the search engine results pages your business’ website rises. Gaining a place on Google’s first search engine results page for your topic makes you and your company more visible online. It also helps potential customers and clients searching for anything related to these topics land on your site.
Indeed, a blog provides the best tool available today for small businesses wanting to become more discoverable online than their competition. Blog more than your competition, and you’ll be found first in the search engines. If potential clients and customers do find your competition’s blog as well as yours, and your competition has authored a book and you haven’t, they may click through to check out the other business instead of yours. Why? An author always seems like an authority—on anything.
That’s why you want to blog a book. Get your business promoted online and achieve author and expert status fast!
To learn more about blogging book and booking blogs, purchase a copy of How to Blog a Book Revised and Expanded Edition in the Writer’s Digest Shop.
About the Author, Nina Amir
Nina Amir, the Inspiration to Creation Coach, is the bestselling author of How to Blog a Book and The Author Training Manual. A speaker, blogger, and author, book, blog-to-book, and high-performance coach, she helps people combine their passion and purpose so they move from idea to inspired action and positively and meaningfully impact the world as writers, bloggers, authorpreneurs, and blogpreneurs. Some of Nina’s clients have sold 300,000+ copies of their books, landed deals with major publishing houses and created thriving businesses around their books. She is the founder of National Nonfiction Writing Month, National Book Blogging Month, and the Nonfiction Writers’ University. As a hybrid author, she has published 15 books and had as many as four books on an Amazon Top 100 list at the same time.
To find out more about Nina and get a free goal-achievement e-book, visit www.ninaamir.com. Receive a set of free blog-plan templates when you visit www.howtoblogabook.com or a free guide to writing a nonfiction book at www.writenonfictionnow.com.
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