In my opinion, blogging and book writing go hand-in-hand. All it takes to bridge the gap from blog to book is a bit more forethought, discipline, and structure, and of course a publisher, and BOOM! you’ve got a book. Well, there’s a bit more to it than that. My experience co-authoring a book (The Art of SEO) was nothing like that. But still, it’s nice to romanticize the process — simply assemble your blog posts into a cohesive structure and send it off to a publisher. What could be simpler?
More often than not the author’s blog is an afterthought. The book came first. Then the blog came second as the book’s marketing vehicle, a complement/supplement. I’m not knocking it, but it’s great to see a high-quality blog turn into a high-quality book.
As both an author and a blogger, I can really appreciate when a blogger succeeds in transforming their blog into a book. It’s inspiring. One of my favorites is PostSecret, which was turned into a whole series of books. More prototypical examples of blog-to-book projects are The Long Tail (blog / book) and The Search (blog / book). Both are excellent blogs, and excellent books. Sometimes Twitter feeds turn into books too, like S*it My Dad Says. That’s some funny stuff. Now it looks like CEO blogger Steve Spangler is coming out with a book too. His is called Naked Eggs and Flying Potatoes. A curious title. In actuality I think his book is more of an amalgamation of his video content than his blog posts, but nonetheless the finished book looks impressive. Congrats Steve!
Folks often ask me if I’m going to write another book. My answer: I doubt it. It’s too painful (like birthing a baby, though, as a man, I can’t truly appreciate the pain of childbirth), and it pays less than minimum wage if you work out the numbers. Folks will then chime in with “Yeah, and why bother with a physical book anyways when everybody’s migrating online!” That I don’t agree with. There are a very large group of holdouts — me included — who still prefer the feel of printed books, who enjoy the experience of curling up with a good book rather than a laptop or ebook reader. And yes I own an iPad, but I don’t read books on it. And I don’t plan to anytime soon. Call me a Luddite.