Blogging to Build Your Nonfiction Book© 2014 Kebba Buckley Button, MS, OM. World Rights Reserved.
“I do not like to write. I like to have written.”
— Gloria Steinem
|If you have ever thought of writing a nonfiction book, this article is for you. If you write nonfiction but have no system, and you often feel frustrated, this article is for you. If you want to get going right now, this month, this article is for you! Today, I’m sharing a brief version of my system for building a nonfiction book, step by step, easily. Spend a few minutes making notes to yourself on each of these steps. You’ll thank me later.|
- Identify the overall point or theme that you want people to absorb/take up/adopt. Put
it in the simplest terms. This may become your title, and you can use it as a working title for the time being.
- Start collecting notes on anything to do with your new book. Collect ideas, articles, links, quotes, and names of organizations your readers may find useful. Use the Notes section of your smartphone to jot down any points or inspirations that come to you, and email them to yourself frequently. If you are less tech savvy, write the notes on any slip of paper that’s handy, put the slips in your pocket, and, empty them into one box or drawer once you get home.
- Divide your theme into about seven main points, and write them out in the simplest terms, five words or less if possible. Your book will have front matter (copyright page, table of contents, etc.), an Introduction or Chapter One, a chapter on each of your seven or so main points or themes, and a closing chapter. Getting excited?
- For your Introduction, identify three or so main aspects that you will explain at the beginning of your book. Write them out as simply and clearly as possible. Those are your first three blog topics!
- For each of your chapters, divide the theme into about three subthemes, and…you guessed it… write/name them as clearly as possible. For these subchapter titles, shorter and punchier is better. I have a section in Discover the Secret Energized You called “Perk with Coffee.” Now, you have three Introduction articles, 21 chapter articles, and three articles for your closing chapter. Without expanding any further, you have topics for 27 articles! Now you’re ready to set up your blog.
- Go to WordPress.com, if you don’t have another blogging platform preference, and sign up for a free blog. I recommend WordPress, not only because it is easy to navigate, but because it interfaces very easily with Networked Blogs (a Facebook tool), other multi-posting apps, and with commenters as they sign in.
- Name the blog something simple that is related to your book title. You are now the proud owner of an authorial neighborhood. An example might be BestBananaBaking.wordpress.com. Put your name in the URL, if you like. One of my blogs is: KebbaButton.wordpress.com. But BestBananaBakingByKebba would be really pointed and memorable!
- Now start scheduling your writing and your posting. Advice varies, but I teach that your articles should be 400-500 words long, plus a “reach the writer” section at the bottom. When I write a health research article, I may need 6 hours. For an article on attitudes, I – may only need 2 hours. Notice how long it takes you to write your pieces and start planning. Can you produce one a day for a month?
- A great way to motivate yourself to get those 27 articles – plus additional ideas that will come to you – written and posted within a month is by signing up for a blog challenge. My favorite is The Ultimate Blog Challenge. Sign up for the challenge and you’ll have the opportunity to post your links to the Ultimate Blog Challenge’s Facebook group. For any blog challenge, you’ll produce one post a day for the entire month. The UBC is already underway for October. So if you have a few of your posts almost ready, why not tune them up and jump in?
- In each post, start with your copyright line and a photo in the upper left corner, medium size by WordPress standards. Insert one or two quotes into your article for visual interest, and a second photo somewhere, to the right, if you like. Feel free to look at my posts at KebbaButton.wordpress.com. That’s my Upbeat Living series.
- At the end of the blog challenge, you’ll have editable material for your book. You can connect those articles and expand for your book from there.
- Then hire a book formatter and/or editor to help you smooth it out.
And voila! You have a book. Production, PR, and distribution come next, but those are future articles. If you have a book in you, or you think you might, why not get going now? It’s your life. And remember: “The only thing that happens if you wait is you get older.” — Mario Andretti
Kebba Buckley Button is a stress management expert and author of the award-winning book, Discover the Secret Energized You, as well as the 2013 book, Peace Within: Your Peaceful Inner Core, Second Edition. She also has a natural healing practice and is an ordained minister. Like this article? Buy Kebba’s books by clicking the links! Reach the writer at firstname.lastname@example.org.