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I have been actively participating in the "blogging world" and have developed a substantial portfolio of 25-75 word "rants" on a variety of topics related to my specialty.

I would like to know how these can be correlated into a book that would supplement and support my professional relationships.

What are the specific challenges of converting blog content to a more traditional publication format like a book?

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Obviously Ii dint understand this community- so, why the down vote without explanation? –  Joseph Barisonzi Nov 2 '11 at 1:44
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I can't speak to why it was downvoted, unless someone thought it was too broad. My answer below is based on the assumption you meant to say you are "now" looking rather than "not looking. –  Steven Drennon Nov 2 '11 at 2:32
    
I fixed that assumed typo. –  Lauren Ipsum Nov 2 '11 at 10:47
    
This is fairly broad. Could you tighten it up? Perhaps give us more information on your rants and specialty - genre matters. Also what part of the process are you looking for information on? Finding an agent/editor? Getting a book deal? Organizing everything for publication? –  justkt Nov 2 '11 at 13:58
    
@justkt All I requested was feedback on the convertion of the content. The other aspects -- finding an agent/editor, getting a book deal, organizing for publication would not fit within the scope of the question. I am specifically asking about the content and expected answers which addressed issues such as audience, voice, structure, etc. –  Joseph Barisonzi Nov 9 '11 at 15:54

3 Answers 3

One of the primary challenges you may be faced with in trying to compile your boh entries into a book format lies in organizing your content. Will you list the content in the order in which it was written, group it by topic, arrange it according to a theme, or just randomize it? If you can figure out that answer, then you'll have a good start on deciding whether you even have enough content to justify a book.

Another challenge will be in converting the blogs posts into relevant content. For example, if you have a dozen posts that generally relate to the same topic, do you really want to include all twelve, or would it be better to merge them together into a single statement or phrase or chapter? It might be better to take the most salient points from each of the separate posts to provide a more complete or entertaining topic with more supporting material.

Frankly, if you are just rehashing the same original posts verbatim, I'm not sure any of your followers will see a book as anything worth pursuing. However, if you merge the posts in an organized manner and perhaps rewrite portions to make the content fresher, then you will most likely have an easier time convincing people that the book is worth their time.

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It would be my intention to speak to different audiences with a different purpose. Thank you for the comment about the structural organization model. –  Joseph Barisonzi Nov 9 '11 at 16:02

Books compiling previously-published articles are not new. The usual challenges there are selecting and organizing your material and editing it for a different audience. Compiling material that is still readily available (blog posts) adds one more challenge: how do you induce people to pay for what they can get for free?

I have bought books that originated from blogs (Rands in Review and Real Live Preacher). Here are the added values I saw:

  • Additional unpublished material: add something to what's already out there, whether it's new essays, introductions, or something else. RLP had a popular series and added new essays in that series. Rands, writing about working and managing in the software-development world, updated essays for the latest trends.

  • Presentation: a blog is optimized for short bursts of consumption; a book is optimized for sitting and reading for a while -- if you group and (if applicable) expand your content so it doesn't still feel bite-sized, and if you get all the physical aspects right (comfortable page layout, fonts, etc). Few people are going to spend several hours reading your blog while sitting at a computer, but they may spend several hours at a sitting reading your book if you make it comfortable.

If you just concatenate your blog entries into a book, you probably won't get many sales. But if you plan your content around that format and audience this can work.

(Not addressed here: the additional considerations of e-book publication.)

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Thank you for the identification of the added value you saw to the content which you had purchased in a book format. –  Joseph Barisonzi Nov 9 '11 at 16:03

If you are suggesting "salable" as "publishable" there might be an issue with copyright unless you protected those rights in writing.

I'm not sure why or if anyone would buy something you've already given away.

Honestly, I'm not sure who would be interested in short "rants" that are not timely. A "rant" as short as you suggest is just not something many folks would want to peruse.

If they are in a blog that has thousands of readers why not ask on the blog if anyone would pay for a book? If no one bites you have your answer.

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If the OP is from a country that is party to the Berne convention (which includes the US and most of Europe, at least), then his works were copyrighted upon publication even if he didn't file paperwork. Paperwork is helpful if you're pursuing an infringement claim. –  Monica Cellio Nov 2 '11 at 14:21
    
Thank you for expressing your concerns about the market-ability of the aggregation of blog entries into a longer book format. I am confident that there is a market for a well written book whose source material was test marketed in a variety of "free platforms" like blogs and speeches. Books as a format continue to have numerous competitive advantages for the sharing of information and knowledge. –  Joseph Barisonzi Nov 9 '11 at 16:13
    
Books as a format might have advantages... it is the information contained on the pages of a book that sells. There are a lot of books I read at the library (anyone remember those?) rather than buy. There is lots of information I get from the net rather than buying a book. Publishers and self-publishers must determine whether their material has a ROI. Try to query say a dozen publishers. If the response doesn't have a hint of interest I think you have your answer. –  Joshin Nov 10 '11 at 23:30

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