If you are writing a blog, chances are you have friends and family who will encourage you to write a book. That is both flattering and tempting. But your friends and family who are not writers have no idea how much work writing a book is nor how to go about it.
So let’s take stock.
Say you have a blog that you’ve been writing weekly for a couple of years and you have a hundred and some entries. Is that enough material for a book? Well that depends on the kind of book you want to write.
My first publication was a devotional gift book. It could have come from a blog. (It didn’t, but it could have.) There were forty or so pages, each with a devotion running to about 200 or 250 words. Let’s see, 40 x 250 = 10,000 words.
It was a small book, about seven by seven inches and less than half an inch thick. Harvest House, my publisher, found an artist who illustrated it beautifully. Her name is Audrey Jeanne Roberts. Her art work is the main draw of the book.
Proverbs 29:18 – Where there is no vision, the people perish: but he that keepeth the law, happy is he.
My original vision for the book was to have a small devotional book that one could pick up and read a page in about two minutes of a morning and have a scripture and thought to carry a busy woman through her day.
Having a vision of a finished product and its purpose was critical to getting published. It was also critical in keeping me on task as I wrote it.
If you want to write a book, step one is to develop a vision for what it will be when finished and what it will do for the reader. That vision will keep you focused as you work on the manuscript.
Part of that vision is to decide what genre your book will fall into. Will your book be similar in type to something else you have read? Are you writing a DIY how-to make specialty soaps; or a complicated, character driven novel about multiple generations in a single family; or a cozy mystery; or a breezy romance; or a sci-fi thriller; or… ?
Each genre has a standard word count – and they are all different. For a comprehensive list of word counts, the Writers Digest blog has a definitive post here.
Let me insert right here the recommendation that you find and follow some of the more helpful blogs available online. Writers Digest is just one of them. There are teachers’ blogs, agents’ blogs, and social blogs which can be helpful. At the end of this series of blog posts, I will post a list of those that I follow.
Now that you have a vision of your finished product, you can take stock of your blog. Some of your blog entries will be useful. (If you are like me, some of them will need to be saved for a different vision.)
Is your blog content enough for the book, or is it just a springboard for more writing? Either way, you have a head start on your book.
Remember that a journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step. And you are on your way.
More to come next Monday.