I’ve had an interesting response to my earlier blog post where I shared my milestone of having written and published 650 blog posts. This post is #658.
One of the comments that surprised me most was by a colleague who didn’t know one other person who had even published 100 posts let along 650. That was interesting to me because I’d never compared myself to other people’s blogs – at least not in terms of the quantity of posts published. I am willing to admit I’m insanely jealous of some bloggers traffic and social media sharing!
How Many Words Make a Book?
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The most common response was ‘When are you going to turn your blog posts into books?’ And, this mirrored my own reaction when I realised that I’d published a guess-timated 195,000 words.
Just as a guide, here’s the word count for some popular books:
- Seth Godin, Purple Cow = 30,655 words
- Malcolm Gladwell, Blink = 70,731 words
- Stephen Covey, The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People = 100,519 words
If I was to literally slice my blog posts up there’s between 3-6 books here based on sheer volume of words.
How NOT to turn your Blog Posts into Books
However, the one thing that I wouldn’t do – and I wouldn’t recommend you do it either – is simply bundle a few blog posts together and wrap a book cover around them. I’ve read a few books published like this over the past couple of years and it hasn’t been an enjoyable experience. They occur as disjointed, sometimes incoherent and they just don’t have the same impact as a purpose written tome. I won’t name any names here to protect the guilty.
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How to turn your Blog Posts into Books
Instead, the key would be to rework the material around themes. And, the easiest way to do this is to look at the categories and tags you’ve already used on your blog posts. This could even define the books and the chapters.
For instance, I reviewed all the posts under the category ‘Manifesto’. There’s over 40 of them or about 12,000 words. Given I have other material about manifestos not published as blog posts, I most definitely have enough material to quickly turn this into a book.
Also, I think there is something important that is required here. A book is a contained and stand alone piece of information and should be packaged as such. In other words, be really clear that your book has a clear title, it has sales copy on the cover, etc. Your blog may or may not have this information or it may be scattered throughout your website.
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Use Your Stats
Another important thing to point out is that you have a record of the page views for your blog posts. This is powerful marketing ammunition that can help you decide what to include or not to include in any upcoming books.
So, in case you were wondering… Yes, I am going to turn some of my blog posts into some books. I’ll naturally update you on progress in future posts.