Writing a book can seem like an overwhelming task, particularly when you haven’t started and you have no idea what to expect from the writing process. Exactly how long will it take for you to write the book? How difficult is it to self-publish? Today I’d like to share a little bit about how I self-published my book “Yoga for Runners” in just a month. My hope is that you can take some of what I did to make your own blog to a book in 30 days.
The most important step I took to turn my blog to a book in 30 days was to re-purpose the content that I’d already created. At the time I wrote my book, I’d been blogging for over three years and had at least 400 blog posts written. That’s a lot of content. When I decided that I wanted to put a book together, I knew that I had a lot of great blog posts on the topic already written. So, I decided that rather than re-invent the wheel, I’d use what I’d already written as the first draft of my book.
Over the year before I wrote my book, I’d been posting often about running and yoga, working to share my passion of teaching yoga to runners. I was also building my authority on the subject, leveraging the formal training I had both as a yoga teacher and a running coach. Because I had focused on consistently writing on that topic, it was relatively easy for me to find and compile what I had published on my blog.
When I started to put my book together, I made a list of all of the blog posts I had written about my topic. Then, I began to put together an outline for my book, being sure to include all of the content I was re-purposing. I started to think through how to logically organize my existing blog posts into chapters, and I thought through the flow of the chapters and how they should appear in the book.
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I took the time to think through what my ideal reader would need to know in order to understand the basics of what I was teaching in my book. What did he or she not know, but was essential to putting what I was teaching into action? I added the missing information or ideas to my outline, taking notes about exactly what I needed to cover when I started writing.
Planning my blog’s content calendar around my book’s needs was also key to helping me turn my blog into a book. There were a few ‘holes’ in my outline where I knew I wanted to cover a topic, but I hadn’t yet written a blog post about it. I wrote the first draft of those chapters or book sections as a blog post. Writing these blog posts allowed me to save the time it would have taken me to write a post on a different subject at the same time when I was writing my book. I was able to create content for two places in one sitting.
When I started to put my manuscript together, my blog posts alone added up to around 8,000 words. I wrote about 5,000 additional words to help flesh out the book and tie everything together, for a grand total around 13,000 words. I also included dozens of photographs, which were essential for my topic. The photos helped elongate my book to around 130 pages, which I think is not so long that it’s overwhelming, but not too short, either.
By re-purposing my content that I had already created, I was able to put together the first draft of my bookin around three weeks. Luckily editing didn’t take too long because I had already edited my blog posts, so all I really needed to do was clarify a point here and there and flesh out a few ideas. I did have my husband read everything over as well to catch any glaring errors.
I set aside a full day in my calendar for formatting and compiling my book, as well as creating my book’s cover using Canva. I created a template that I kept my my computer with instructions for formatting chapter, section, and sub-section titles, which made it easy to make sure my formatting was uniform.
Once I’d checked the formatting and any last minute edits, I was ready to save a PDF copy of my book which I immediately began to sell on my blog. I then uploaded the PDF to CreateSpace to create hard copies of my book, which took just few hours to do. Within 30 days, I had turned my blog to a book for sale both on my blog and on Amazon, which continues to be a stream of passive income for me today.