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by Jon Wuebben - Founder and CEO of Content Launch

5 Questions to Ask Before Publishing Your Blog Posts as an eBook on Amazon

The five-year growth of eBook sales on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, et al has been staggering. Popularized in 2007 with the release of the Amazon Kindle eReader device, eBooks now account for more than 20% of all book sales by some estimates and more than that at some publishers.

One of the reasons is the relative ease of getting one’s book distributed into a major store, like Amazon.com. Another factor is the shear volume of written content available, often in the form of accumulated blog posts.

If you are one of those companies or individuals who have been diligently posting high-value, high-quality content maybe you are asking yourself how to give it a second life as an eBook. Makes sense, but first you should ask yourself a few questions to evaluate whether it is worth the effort.

Question 1: Do you have enough posts to create something of value?

First create an outline of the book you are thinking about. Spend some time on Amazon looking at books similar to what you have in mind. Refer back to your blog for ideas but do not create the outline based on what you have. Create the outline based on the need the book fulfills.

When complete, you’ll have a good idea just how much new content you may need.

By the way, adding extra content to differentiate the book from your blog is smart, especially if your blog is popular. Your regular readers are your best prospects and that means they will have read much of your book in your posts. Delight them with some fresh material.

Question 2: Will you sell it or use it as a lead generation tool?

While many dream of riches from passive income, selling your book may not make sense. The eBook file formats can be downloaded like a PDF and then transferred to the reader’s eReading device. It all depends on your goals. I think it also depends on the quality of your information since charging something raises expectations.

Question 3: How much editing does it need?

Unless you created a formal editorial plan, and then followed that plan when writing your posts, it is doubtful that you can grab a series of posts and expect to assemble them into chapters without editing. But don’t despair, few bloggers are this disciplined and some editing is to be expected. Here is a checklist of things to do:

  1. Organize the posts according to your book outline.
  2. Look for duplicate or repetitive material. As an expert blogger you have probably written more than a couple posts that address the same issue with only a variation on the title and content focus.
  3. Add context where needed. If you refer to “last week” you’ll need to replace that with a date. If it is 2008 and you refer to “the election” you should clarify that to say “the 2008 presidential election”.
  4. Be consistent in all things. Not just formatting and typefaces but your “voice”. Are you speaking in first person or third?
  5. Add some content that has not been featured in a blog post. Round out existing pieces. Add a FAQ, checklist, photos, infographics, etc.
  6. Hire a good copyeditor. Your book writing will be held to a different standard than your blog post writing.

Question 4: Do you have the necessary permissions?

Did you “borrow” any photos? What about graphics? You will have to get permission, properly attribute them, or find a suitable replacement. Double-check all rights to make sure you comply. If in doubt, replace or drop it. Don’t skip over this.

Question 5: How will you market it?

This really should be the number one question but I’m assuming you would not have started without some type of plan. Regardless, now is the time to put it in writing. It should include the launch date and a list of promotional tasks. It’s a big job and it depends greatly on the type of audience you are targeting and your resources. We will spend more time on this topic in a future post.

Some final advice

If you take your book seriously, so will your audience. Don’t skimp on quality and value. Make sure you have the best cover you can afford. Get as many people as possible to help you promote it, especially during the first six weeks after release.

Got a question or would you like me to look at your blog? Drop a note in the comments section or send me an email.

About the Author: David Wogahn is managing partner of eBook publishing agency Sellbox based in Carlsbad, Calif. David (@Wogahn) lives at the intersection of technology and publishing by helping companies, associations and author-publishers navigate and profit from eBook and print book publishing.

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