#Blooks: Why You Need To Turn Your Blogs Into Books Right Now!
‘Why I’m No Longer Talking to White People About Race’ is a very famous book by British writer Reni Eddo-Lodge. It has received several recognitions and awards ever since it was released in 2017. What many people don’t know about the book is that it was first a blog written by the author back in 2014. The blog post went viral from the moment the author hit publish. A massive number of people responded to the blog talking about issues surrounding racism that they experienced in their lives. The author continued to research and take the subject forward and eventually turned it into a book.
Let’s take a bit more of a pop-culture approach and look at what YouTubers have done. Niomi Smart, Zoe Sugg, and Lilly Singh are three of the many names that have made their careers as authors as well. The three of them have remained bestsellers too. What’s common amongst the three of them is that they all have a massive social media following and are vloggers. Niomi and Zoe have been bloggers too. Let’s look at a few logical reasons why turning your blog into a book is a good idea.
Reason #1: Information Age
This is the best time to use the many perks that come with living in this era, such as the internet. What the World Wide Web has done is that it has given people the power to have a fair chance of pursuing their passion. To specifically talk about writing, the internet has democratised the world of publishing. Young writers do not need to rely on publishers to get their big break. You can put out your material for the world to receive and accordingly judge your direction. If you are already an established blogger or an upcoming blogger, you already have an idea about your target audience. You know the people who are following you and the online communities that promote the genre of your work. The reception of your blogs can easily lay the groundwork for your book. You already have an edge over others who are starting from scratch. One should use this to their advantage.
Reason #2: Spreading the Message
If you are a regular blogger, it essentially means you feel very passionately about what you write. You feel the urge to put down your observations and experiences for the world to see. Turning your blogs into a book or writing a book would further facilitate that notion. It would help you to communicate to a larger audience. It will also help in driving in a new audience. People who actively read and subscribe to blogs are a community that is comparatively small in number. Many times, your thoughts and musings are limited to this small community. In this scenario, a book becomes a game-changer. It is what merges the offline and the online world for a writer.
Reason #3 : Revenue & Recognition
It is known information that bloggers get paid very less as compared to other influencers. Getting a book deal would act as an added income if nothing else. A bestseller will also provide you with a long-term return. The above-mentioned influencers were very well established before they published their books. Why did they write a book if they were already rich and famous? Here’s a thing about books, they give you power. If you’re reading them, you gain knowledge and knowledge is power. If you’re writing them, it gives you a sense of authority over the subject that you are writing about. You are seen as a more credible source if you are a published author. Even if money is not a deciding factor for you, recognition and authority are two things worth considering before you make a choice.
Let’s look at some bloggers-turned-authors for some valuable insights:
1. Julie Powell
If you have heard of the famous Meryl Streep movie called ‘Julie and Julia’ then you must know that the film was inspired by a blog. Julie Powell was working for the Lower Manhattan Development Corporation in 2002. During this time, Powell started her little blog called The Julie/Julia Project. The blog documented her attempts at cooking all the recipes from Julia Child’s Mastering the Art of French Cooking. Powell’s blog was received very well by the readers which led her to sign a deal with the Little, Brown and Company. The book was published in 2005 by the name Julie and Julia: 365 Days, 524 Recipes, 1 Tiny Apartment Kitchen. The book was later adapted into the famous movie ‘Julie and Julia’ in 2009.
What one can learn from Powell’s story is that the minute you turn your blog into a book, the journey of the story it carries becomes limitless. Your documented experiences or study is perceived in different ways through different mediums by different people. What you may think of as a small blogging hobby holds the potential to change things around.
2. Andy Weir
Andy Weir’s ‘The Martian’ is another great example of a good blog bringing in recognition and revenue. Weir is a space geek and worked as a computer programmer for 25 years before he quit and made writing his full-time job. What’s interesting about Weir’s story is that he failed in his first attempt to become a published author. He couldn’t find an agent or a publishing house willing to take up his work. He started posting chapters of ‘The Martian’ as free blogs on his website for the readers. The blogs gained major popularity and with enough public requests, Weir self-published his book on Amazon Kindle. The book received great reviews and became a bestseller on the Kindle Bestseller list. Soon after this small success, Weir was approached by an agent and a publishing house caller Crown Publishing Group. The same week he was also approached by Fox for movie rights. The book won various titles and was adapted into a movie with the same name in 2015.
The major learning aspect from Weir’s story is that he was rejected by publishers the first time he went out. However, his blogging community paved his path to becoming a successful author. Having a published book legitimises the idea and further helps people visualise it. Bloggers have the support of their readers even before they decide to publish a book. You have proper data on how well your writing is received and that could become your boon in cracking the publishing interview.
3. Tim Ferris
Timothy Ferriss is an entrepreneur, angel investor, author, and podcaster. Tim is also an avid blogger and his all-time bestseller, 4-Hour Work Week, is a testimony to that. It is interesting to note that Tim’s book was initially rejected by 13 out of 14 publishers. A majority of his success is credited to his online presence. In an interview, Tim said, ” I like the fact that some of my heroes have contacted me through my blog.” Reaching out to the blogger’s community and getting featured in famous blogposts helped Ferris with gaining traction on his website.
The key takeaway from Ferris story is that blogging helps you build a community of like-minded people. As an extension of this, if you are a blogger then you’re already a part of the community that has the potential to market and promote your book. You already have the tools and access in your hands to make your book a bestseller. As a blogger, you have the avenue to try out topics and learn what works and what does not. One should use this knowledge to their advantage. Thus, turning your blogs into a book could potentially be the best career decision you have ever taken.
Last but not the least, one needs to stay honest towards their commitment to writing a book. Bloggers essentially have certain qualities that are crucial to becoming an author. If you’re a consistent blogger, you understand deadlines and discipline. You also are in the practice of writing a lot. Blogging also pushes the writer to dive deep into the topic of their passion. It’s a labour of love. What was common amongst the three above-mentioned bloggers-turned-authors is the commitment to their passion. They avidly blogged about their interests and observations which resulted in them being good authors. One cannot be a good author just by being a good blogger. However, if you’re already a blogger you have the tools in your hand for success. One needs to make sure their book is a consolidated message that they want to communicate to the world. This message is what will remain of them if one day, God forbid, the internet is erased from the face of the earth.