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Biz Ladies: Part I — Your Blog Is Your Book


Illustrations by David Saracino

Today’s Biz Ladies post comes from Danielle LaPorte and Linda Sivertsen, the co-creators of Your Big Beautiful Book Plan, a digital program for people who want to get their word into the world. Danielle and Linda are graciously sharing a three-part series for the Biz Ladies column on how to conceptualize, create and publish your book idea. And because they have a special love for the design crowd, they are also giving D*S readers an exclusive behind-the-scenes look at the book proposal that scored photographer/blogger Susannah Conway her book deal for This I Know: Notes on Unraveling the Heart. Thank you, Danielle and Linda, for such a wonderful first post on how to kickstart the process! — Stephanie

Read the full post after the jump . . .

Is there a book inside you burning to be written in digital or print form, for the world or for your private time capsule?

Writers, storytellers. Hear this: Your blog is your content.

Think you’re starting from scratch? You’re not.

Your blog is where you have already captured your everyday, lifetime, take-it-for-granted experiences. Turn them into insight, humor, education and information — a book.

Nothing is matter-of-fact for a writer. Everything is a matter of life. Make a story out of everything. Your life is one teachable moment after the next. Preach it.

1. Just get started.

We’re telling you right now: Just get started. If you have ideas in your being, get them on paper or onscreen. Write now.

Some people are waiting for things to be perfect, and then they’ll write their book. It’s never perfect. Write now.

Imagine six months from now, where will you be?

Will you have your book proposal in front of several publishers?

Or will you still be waiting for the right time?

Write now. Make stuff happen.

You’re a writer. And that’s that. Declare it.

“The story I am writing exists,

written in absolutely perfect fashion,

some place, in the air.

All I must do is find it, and copy it.”

— Jules Renard, “Diary,” February 1895

2. Your blog is your content.

It’s all right there — it just needs to be mined and packaged.

  • Rummaging through old blog posts for a “Best Of . . .” review? Hold up. THAT’s the makings of your book outline sitting right there.
  • Remember that one post that went viral? The one people walk up to you in the grocery store to thank you for? You’ve got the first lines of your book proposal.
  • Read through the comments your readers leave on those viral posts. Therein is your raison d’être. Your market. The problem that your writing will solve for people.
  • That survey you conducted last quarter? Package the results with supporting interviews, and you’ve got yourself the beginning of a chapter summary.
  • That five-part series you wrote on that subject that makes you giddy? Right there you’ve got five unique chapters.
  • That blog crawl you started last spring? Recapitulate the wisdom collected into a manifesto, a guide, a set of case studies and success stories.

 

We tend to think of our message first and then think of stories that will support and illustrate our message. When really, we should first pay attention to the stories that are living in our psyches: the tales we’ve never forgotten, the images that left a deep impression. And then we should look for the message inside of those stories. There’s a reason the stories stuck with us: They point to our core theory and teaching.

Your book (your speech, your product) has already been written — it’s hiding in plain sight. On your blog.

3. Just don’t put it off.

You’re already sitting on great knowledge; the content is inside you. Ignite the spark by first asking the right question. Your book is calling you.

Yours in content liberation!
Danielle + Linda

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24 Comments

Debra

Visited the authors’ blogs/websites. What a goldmine!! Thank you, thank you!

Nathalie Lussier

I’m lucky enough to have gone through their Big Beautiful Book Plan and I can definitely see my own book coming together. I’m so excited about the content possibilities, and it just means that every time I blog I’m getting closer to that book deal. :)

Sandra

Oh man, I’ve been thinking about writing a bok for a while now and just didn’t know where to start. This post couldn’t have come at a better time!!

Sophia

This is a good article, I liked the part where you discuss how the writing, what you write down does not have to be “perfect”. It like allowing the creative process to develop, not be hindered at the first stage. Thanks for this inspiration.

Lesley Stefanski

I have the Big Beautiful Book Plan and have been meaning to read it and keep on putting it off; but *just* this morning I said “Enough, I’m going to write that book and read that PDF” and suddenly I find myself here as if to say – it’s your dream, make it happen! :) Thanks for sharing!

Orissa

Wow – that is fantastic advice – Write Now! I love the quote – I will have to refer to it in future. Thanks

Jean Buschke

It is there…in the content. The key is to embrace it and run with it. I need to keep reminding myself…if it is mine it is perfect for me. Now just do it! Thanks for the reminder :)

Linda Sivertsen

Happy to see old and new friends here on Biz Ladies! Danielle and I put everything we had into this program. Elated you’re finding it helpful! :) xx

EJ Justice

Thanks for the inspiration and concrete tips. I LOVE the concept of my life being “a series of teachable moments”!

I started blogging a few months ago. Right now it’s all over the place — niche? what niche? — but I know that after I write stuff down, I’ll have the raw materials to find patterns in and pull the best bits out. And THAT’S where I want to be six months from now!

Elisabeth

thanks for this inspiring post! i help people tell their story, in their own words, and create a custom book. so i love your suggestion to “pay attention to the stories.” there is indeed power in turning your story into a book.

Daniela

You’re seriously kidding, right? ‘Have a blog, instant book?’ This is exactly the kind of thinking that has led to totally inane, sloppy, never-should-have-been-books-in-the-first-place getting published and taking up space in the remainders pile in used bookstores. Please stop giving such terrible advice. Yours, someone who has actually spent time in the publishing industry likely longer than you’ve been ‘writing.’

Grace Bonney

daniela from random house-

no one is saying ‘instant book’ here. this 3-part series is very clearly teaching people how to turn their blog into a good book, if the content is up to par. if a sub-par book proposal is written, a publisher shouldn’t accept it. if they do, it seems like the issue lies with the publisher. i agree that not every blog should be turned into a book (and most aren’t), but i would hope most publishers aren’t going to produce a book just because they get a pitch. i think any series that teaches people how to make the best version of a pitch or book is helpful for the industry- i’d rather people put their best foot forward than blindly throw out content without thinking or planning.

grace

Mina

I’ve been wanting to turn my blog into a book for some time now. Perhaps I’m staring right into my 2013 new year’s resolution as I read this post. Thanks Grace! Love your blog and especially the biz ladies column! : )

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