When you’re passionate about something, and begin sharing that passion with others through blogging and social media, it won’t take long for you to develop a good amount of content on the subject. And that content can easily be leveraged to publish an e-book.
Publishing can be a fun and exciting space to get into, and can even help you reach your goals for developing your audience platform.
When I looked back at 5 years of blogging on BibleDude.net, I noticed that I had over a half million words of content on the website. I knew there had to be a book in there somewhere. So I started by looking at the series I’ve written, and one of my favorites was the daily trip journals that I wrote about my 2+ weeks in Africa (my first mission trip).
As I read through the posts, I realized that the series could have been an interesting e-book by itself. But I noticed something deeper happening, so I wrote a little more around the trip journals to talk about how I became The Unlikely Missionary: From Pew-Warmer to Poverty-Fighter. As a result, being a published author has opened new doors for me as an ‘expert’ on faith-based activism and foreign missions. The book is now a best seller in books in Christian Evangelism, and has passed 10,000 copies in total distribution!
As the Kindle and Nook versions started to sell, I decided to give away a free PDF copy of the book to people who subscribed to BibleDude.net. Before offering this free download, I was adding an average of 8-10 new e-mail subscribers per month (slow, but steady). And since offering the download, I’ve been averaging 70-75 new e-mail subscribers per month!
The bottom line is that if you’re sharing something on a subject that you’re passionate about, then you won’t want to miss the opportunity to expand your message beyond a single platform. There are obvious benefits to working from blog to e-book, including:
- It’s a great way to re-purpose older content on your blog, and make it fresh and new
- It establishes you as an expert on the subject that you’re writing about
- It’ll open other doors to get you and your message in front of more people
- It becomes an additional revenue stream as it continues to sell
- It can be used to increase the size of your subscriber base
That’s all not to mention that your friends will now introduce you as their friend who wrote a book on (insert subject here).
Services like Amazon’s Kindle Direct Publishing and CreateSpace, and Barnes and Noble’s Nook Press have made it easier for writers to self-publish and make their work available online.
The best part is that guidelines and restrictions typical in traditional publishing are now gone! You don’t have to write 200 pages of content when your idea might best be communicated in 50 pages. In fact, I’ve seen some great e-books that would only be 17 pages long if printed. This means that you can focus on discussing one idea really well, and not have to worry about meeting someone else’s template for publishing (most likely driven by profit margin formulas).
Typically, publishing your e-book is free with the services I’ve mentioned. However, when converting blog content into an e-book, there are three pieces you’d be wise to consider spending money on:
- Content formatting
- Professional editing
- Cover design graphics
Using your blog to develop e-book content is definitely a good strategic move. And if this is something you decide to pursue, then let me know what I can do to help you!