What is the difference between a blog post and a book chapter?
There are some basic differences between the two. However, what you’ll find is that with a little tweaking, you’ll be able to create chapters for your book from your blog posts.
Sections of a Blog Post
- Hook ‘em stellar introduction
- Tell your story
- Add some bullet points
- Link to credible sites that support the details
- Add eye-catching images
- End with a call-to-action (respond in the comments, share, buy)
Chapter of a Book
- Interest grabbing introduction
- Tell your story
As an example, let’s compare the structure of a blog post that I turned into a chapter in a book.
The blog post had the title: Women in Mexican History–Josefa Ortiz de Dominguez. When it became a chapter of A Woman’s Survival Guide to Holidays in Mexico, the title of this chapter became: Josefa Ortiz de Dominguez.
There were two images in the blog post to break up the text. These were rearranged in the book chapter so that one was at the beginning and one was at the end of the chapter. Doing so helped with the page formatting so that there wasn’t a dangling sentence on one page all by itself.
There were a number of hyperlinks to back up the historical information as it pertained to Josefa ’s story. Those hyperlinks were moved to a section entitled Josefa Ortiz de Dominguez in the Appendix for the book. (We talked about the Appendix yesterday remember?)
The blog post ended with the call to action for readers to buy the book A Woman’s Survival Guide to Holidays in Mexico. The book does not have a call to action at the end and the chapter concludes at that point.
In this example, there weren’t any drastic writing changes in the conversion from post to chapter. Sometimes more information will need to be added to the chapter if there are gaps in information. This might happen if you have written about a topic on your blog and link to a prior post rather than go through the whole story again. Sometimes information should be removed from the chapter if it isn’t relevent to the book topic.
This post didn’t have any bullet points either. For the most part, my chapters don’t have bullet points since they tend to mess with the formatting in a book . If they aren’t just so, you can have more white space than you want. However, there’s nothing wrong with bullet points appropriately positioned in a book chapter.
Although it seems relatively straight forward converting your blog posts into chapters, you need to keep in mind that the book you are creating should not just be a collection of your blog posts.
Books have themes that tie the chapters together. Your Blog to Book Project should have a dedicated theme.
To illustrate this point, I wrote a series of blog posts about being a Prepper and living off-grid in central Mexico. I compiled those 30 odd posts into a book for Preppers considering Mexico as a bug-out location. I ONLY included posts related to our life as Preppers. I did not include any posts about me being an ESL teacher, our animals, or building our house. Those are topics I am in the process of compiling into separate books.
How to Choose a Theme
As you blog, you should have been organizing your posts by category or tag. Checking which categories have the most reader interaction would be a good way to pick a topic for your blog to book project.
It often helps to think of your future blog to book project as a proposed solution to a specific question. In the book A to Z Reasons Why La Yacata is the Place to Be in Any Disaster: A Prepper’s Guide to Mexico, the question is whether Mexico would be a good location WTSHTF (when the shit hits the fan) or not. The book addresses natural, political and personal disaster situations from the perspective of a long-time resident of Mexico. By the end of the book readers should have an idea about the most important drawbacks or benefits to living in Mexico and if there are ways to alleviate the danger of these disaster potentials.
You should also consider the structure of your book. In the above-mentioned book, the chapters were listed alphabetically. In another book, A Woman’s Survival Guide to Holidays in Mexico, the chapters were organized chronologically from January to December. The organizational strategy that you choose should be easy to follow and make sense for your topic. Chapters are very rarely organized by the date they appeared on your blog.
Your assignment for today is to choose a topic for your Blog to Book Project and decide how to organize the posts that will be included.
2 thoughts on “Blog to Book Project — Blog Posts vs. Book Chapters”
I do sometimes use snippets of material from my blog posts for some of my books, but I’ve never made a full book from my blog posts. As I reader I would feel incredibly cheated buying a book only to discover it’s all things I’ve already read on the person’s blog
I can see where that might be an issue in some instances. I actually don’t expect my blog readers to buy my books. I have an entirely different audience in mind. 🙂