In January of this year I decided the time had arrived for me to consider publishing a series of blog posts into a book. I had read of several other bloggers who compiled some of their posts and successfully published them in book form in order to sell them on both their websites and Amazon. So in honor of SMART Living 365’s Third Anniversary this month, and with over 250 blog posts, I thought, “Why not?” Today, I am officially announcing the launch of my first “blog-to-book” print and ebook, Simple-SMART & Happy, A SMART Living 365 Guide to a Sustainable & Meaningful Lifestyle on Amazon.com. If you’ve ever considered writing your own book, and especially if you are a blogger, here are five reasons I feel it is a valuable and worthwhile thing to do.
Why Put Your Blog Posts Into A Book?
#1 It’s a perfect way to repurpose our work. Most of us who write do it because we want our work to be read and feel we have something valuable, helpful and interesting to share with others. Blogging is perfect for that. But once we’ve blogged for several years, many of our earlier posts get overlooked in favor of new content. So, putting posts into a book form offers a great way to repurpose our work. Plus, for whatever reason, most new readers tend to overlook previous posts so this is a good way to share what they may have missed.Could anyone go back and just read those posts on the blog? Sure! At least in my case, I’m not trying to make people pay for something that they can find for free. What I am doing is offering a series of posts in a new and easy to read format that might actually be preferable to some people. I have also included a small amount of new material to pull the theme together in a very clear way.
Simple-SMART & Happy highlights the central theme of simplicity and sustainability from my blog. All included articles highlight the benefits of how a more simple, minimal and sustainable lifestyle leads to a happier life. I’ve included the articles from that category that readers read and responded to most frequently. And I’m keeping my price as low as Amazon will allow to attract the greatest number of readers.
#2 To introduce new readers to our writing. While many of my regular readers have been following my blog for sometime now, there are millions of readers out there that don’t read blogs, have never found my work before, or don’t like reading anything online. By putting my work on Amazon I can introduce my writing to an entirely new audience in a way that may not be available if my writing only appears on the Internet.
According to a 2014 report by Morris Rosenthal, on his site, fonerbooks.com, Amazon is the biggest book retailer in the world at this time. Regardless of how we feel about one big corporation having so much power, Amazon makes it very easy to be an author. By self-publishing this book on Amazon both in print and as an ebook, I am reaching out around the world in a new way to find readers. Even if putting the book on Amazon serves only as advertising for my blog, it will serve its purpose.
I have also discovered that while younger generations are fluent in the blogosphere, there are thousands of readers who still insist on doing their reading in print form. From now on I can easily refer others to my work in this avenue.
#3 The learning curve is a valuable way to keep our minds expanding and young. I’ve mentioned before that I have two books that were published by two separate publishers several years before I began publishing my own. What that experience taught me is that most of the work for beginning writers with small publishers, still falls on the shoulders of the writers themselves. In other words, regardless of what is promised, nearly all promotion is up to the writer. If you are going to have to do all the promotion yourself, you might as well publish it yourself, retaining complete control of your work, and a significantly larger percentage of the royalties.
The good news is that Amazon makes it easy. For Simple-SMART & Happy I did all of the formatting myself for both the print book and the ebook. Was it hard? Not really because I am fairly computer literate. Was it easy? No. It took a great deal of time and commitment. Also fortunate was the fact that I had all the programs necessary (MS Word and Photoshop) to make the book and the cover. My husband Thom made the cover for me. Beyond that, I had the help of three APs—Accountability Partners—who helped proof and perfect the existing work. My amazing APs for this project were Kelly MacDonald, Bobbi Logie, and Melinda Walsh. Thank you ladies!
When I was done I felt like I had taken a language course at college. For anyone who wants to keep your mind flexible and growing, you can either study Spanish or learn how to publish your own book.
#4 It’s fun and gratifying to see our work in print and available in different venues. I have been fortunate to have three previous books printed to date. But holding one of your new creations in your hands never, EVER gets old. And while every book publishing is a little different, I’ve learned something every step of the way. And because my writing is fairly eclectic, I’ve been introduced to all sorts of wonderful people around the world who have been drawn to one or more of my creations. Thank you!
#5 It’s a great way to celebrate the Third Anniversary of SMART Living 365. While technically this is my sixth year of being a blogger, I’ve just finished my third year here at SMART Living 365. What I learned from my first blog is that it’s critical that you write about something you are passionate about because by the time you hit three years (or less) you will run out of things to say or run out of love for the work. I’m extremely happy to say I’m still very enthusiastic about all of the ideas I explore on SMART Living and look forward to sharing many more as the years unfold. Publishing this book and ebook is an awesome way to celebrate.
In case you haven’t guessed, I plan to do an entire series of blog-to-books in the months to come based upon the other themes on my site. I think the process itself is an excellent way to keep my topics fresh and active and I’m looking forward to seeing how the public responds to this new way of sharing my ideas. You know I’ll be sharing my progress with all of you as the days go by.
I am very proud of all my books because each one of them represents a part of my mind, heart and soul. They are also the best I could share of myself at the time they were written. To all of us who believe that our writing has value and worth and deserves to be read by as many people as possible, publishing our blog to a book is just another SMART step on our path.
So what do you think? Is publishing a blog-to-book a good practice?
This post is part of a blog hop-linkup at: Book Musing Mondays on 12/1/14