So you've been blogging your book, and you think you have enough content now to put together into a book for publication. What's next? today's focus will be on what is next for those of you who have been blogging a non-fiction book.
There are several steps you need to take before you will have a quality book ready to publish.
1. You need to comb through all of your blogged content and select the posts that you want to use in your book. If you've been blogging about the craft of writing but some of your posts are more personal, such as a post about something cute your daughter said when she was a toddler, then you need to make sure that all inappropriate content or off-topic posts are eliminated from your selection.
2. You need to edit the content you have chosen. This type of editing is more than just proofreading and checking your content for inconsistency. While you need to edit your content in the usual ways, you also need to be altering it based on the fact that, when you first write it, you were writing with your blog audience in mind. Although you intend to carry over some of that audience, there will be differences in your book audience, and there will be differences in how your content is presented.
3. You need to choose the order for your blog topics in your book. Which blog posts will fit better early on in the book and which ones need to be at the end? If you are writing about weight loss and dieting, you might want the posts about starting our on a new weight loss regime to be at the beginning of your book and the posts about maintaining your weight loss to be towards the end of the book.
4. You need to write a foreword. Your foreword is to be an introduction to your book topic. You can include a lot of information in this foreword, including your reasons for writing the book. Why will your readers want to continue reading? Let them know in the foreword exactly why they will want to read the rest of the book.
If your book has been picked up by a publisher, then chances are good that your publisher will do the rest of this list for you. If you are self-publishing, then you will need to complete the rest of this list yourself.
5. You need to format your book (if you don't already have a publisher who will do this and the rest of the work on this list for you). You can pay someone to do this or do it yourself. Your book's format should work in both an e-book and a paperback book version, if you plan on publishing it in both formats. (When writing a non-fiction book, especially a how-to book, I recommend publishing in both formats. While a lot of people are turning towards e-books for their reading, many people using a non-fiction book for information and learning will want to be able to make written notes as they read and paperback is their preferred format).
6. You need critique partners. Let your critique partners read your book and give you their feedback, then take the feedback from them that you agree with on board and go back to edit your book again.
7. You need your book professionally edited. Even if you edit for a living, an unbiased set of eyes from someone else who is used to editing books for publication can be enormously helpful in helping you to see where you might have gone wrong with your book or in which areas it can be improved upon.
8. You need beta readers. Once your book is fully edited and revised, and it is formatted perfectly, send it out to beta readers for an initial response. Beta readers can inform you if something isn't working for them, and they can also let you know when your book is ready for the wider world to see it. Make sure they are people who are interested in your topic. Bonus points if some of your beta readers are already knowledgeable in the topic you have written about.
9. You need to write a blurb and a one sentence tag line. Not all books have tag lines, but those tag lines can be helpful in drawing in your readers and you need a blurb for the back of your paperback book and to use in your book's description on the sites you will be selling it on.
10. You need an ISBN. If you are self-publishing your book, then you need an ISBN for your book. These can be bought and vary in price depending on what country you are in and how many ISBNs you buy at a time. If you are going to publish through CreateSpace or a similar company, they can provide you with a free ISBN, but then that company is the one that will, officially, be the publisher of your book. If you buy your own ISBN, either you or the company name you use when you buy the ISBN will be listed as the publisher on official records.
11. You need a book cover. You need an eye-catching book cover for both e-book and paperback formats. It needs to look professional and it needs to draw your readers to it. You want your reader to take one look at your book cover and think, "That's a book I'd like to read."
12. You need a street team and/or a group of bloggers to help you spread the word about your book. You need a plan in place to promote your book and inform people that your book is being launched. you need to be letting people on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, LinkedIn and several other social media platforms know about your book, but you need to do this in a way that isn't pushy or spammy. You need to get people engaged with your content.
13. You need reviews. This can often be the most difficult part of publishing a book. Paid reviews are frowned upon and Amazon has been known for removing reviews from people they suspect an author knows already (so friends and family). You need to get people reading your book and for those readers to leave reviews. Maybe you can use incentives for reviews such as prize drawings and such for people who leave reviews.
This is just one of the prizes that you might win at the end of the challenge. One of these will be added to the collection of prizes that one signed up member will win during the drawing on April 30th.