This isn’t a new idea, but it is one that I’ve been exploring recently. That’s mainly been with my third ebook, Google Drive for Writers. It’s also something that I’m doing with another ebook I’m working on.
The beauty of reusing your blog posts in your books is that you have a store of ready-made content which can save you a lot of time and effort, and which can get your book to market faster.
Unlike some people, I haven’t been basing all of my books on the content of any of my blogs. But I have learned a thing or three about reusing the content of a blog in a book
Should I use posts as they are?
Sometimes you can. Sometimes, you’ll have to make minor changes to a post. At other times, a post might need an overhaul.
In my book on Google Drive, I converted a post from this space into part of the chapter on organizing your work. But it wasn’t that easy — I had to rewrite it to focus on Google Drive and had to take new screen captures.
Rewriting is sometimes necessary
But you probably figured that out from what I just wrote. How much rewriting you do will depend on the tone of the book and the style that you use in the other chapters.
I’m lucky that my writing style is fairly consistent. When I’m writing non fiction — whether it’s an article, blog post, or review — my tone and voice are pretty similar. It’s when I start doing expository writing or personal journalism that things change slightly.
In the latter cases, I might need to make some major changes. In the former cases, I just might need to tweak a few things here and there. In either case, though, linking material will need to come into play.
All or just some of a post?
You might find that not all of a post is suitable for inclusion in your book. You might only want to include a paragraph or two, maybe half the post, or just an interesting story or anecdote or quote.
That’s where the transitions I mentioned a couple of paragraphs ago really come in. In many cases, if you just drop those paragraphs or stories or quotes into a chapter or a section, it will feel to readers like those bits were just dropped in. They’ll stand out from what’s around them like a red dot on a white cashmere sweater.
Expand on posts
That’s OK, too. In the time since you wrote the post, new ideas may have come into your head. A slightly different angle might have presented itself. Maybe new information may have come to light or you’ve had a change of mind about the subject of the post.
Feel free to incorporate those new ideas or new perspectives when including a blog post in your book. Add examples or stories or quotes. Do what you need to do to make the content more compelling and relevant.
Have you included one or more blog posts in a book? If so, what challenges did you face? Feel free to share them by leaving a comment.