Guest Post From Vicki Lesage, of Velvet Morning Press
Many bloggers dream of becoming published authors one day. It’s a natural fit—you pour your heart and soul into writing your blog, why not pour your heart and soul (and blood and sweat and a whole lot of tears) into a book as well?
But many bloggers also have the problem of not having enough time. How much time should you spend blogging vs. working on your manuscript? You need to finish your manuscript in order to be able to submit it to a publisher (or even if you go the self-pub route, you’ll still need to finish that baby), but then your publisher might turn around and ask you about your platform. Which should you do first: build your platform or write your book?[bctt tweet=”How much time should you spend blogging vs. working on your manuscript?’ @V_Mpress”]
- Write That Book!
Having a platform is great, but fans can be fickle. While they will hopefully stay with you for the long-haul, they could leave you tomorrow. Whereas your manuscript is yours. It’s not going anywhere. And it’s REALLY not going anywhere if you don’t work on it! So make sure you set a realistic goal for your writing (1 page per day, 1,000 words per week, 1 chapter per month—whatever works for you) so that you will one day hold a finished manuscript in your hands.
- Assess Your Audience
Do you blog about horses and you’re writing a cowboy romance? Your blog and book audience will likely overlap. So while you want to keep plugging away at your manuscript, you’re onto a good thing with your blog so you’ll want to keep that up too (check out #3 for more info on that).
But what if you are blogging about parenting and you’re planning to write a horror novel (actually, those two might not be so far apart…)? Or is your blog humorous but you’re writing a serious piece of historical fiction? While it’s good to build an audience, if you’re not building the right audience then it won’t help much. You can keep blogging, but don’t let it detract from your manuscript.[bctt tweet=”‘While it’s good to build an audience, if you’re not building the right audience then it won’t help much’ @V_Mpress”]
- Find Your Sweet Spot
If you currently blog every day, maybe you can get away with only blogging 3x per week and still maintain your audience. If you blog once per week, maybe you could switch to blogging every two weeks. Test it out and see. You want to keep your audience active and engaged, just not at the expense of your manuscript. Find the sweet spot that keeps your fans coming back for more but keeps YOU writing more on your work-in-progress.
- Can Any of Your Content Cross Over?
While you won’t want to just copy and paste your blog posts into a book, you might still be able to repurpose some of your blog posts into book content. Or at least find a way for that content to serve two purposes. For example, maybe you visited the local brewhouse to research your next book (if so, your book sounds awesome) and while you were there, something funny/interesting/unique happened. You can blog about your experience, which will help you remember the details for later use in your book. If you’re writing a fictionalized memoir, you can use your nonfictional blog posts as a base for your fictional book. If you’re having trouble deciding on a character’s name, ask your fans for input. Be creative! There are many ways to incorporate your blog activity into your book and vice versa.[bctt tweet=”‘There are many ways to incorporate your blog activity into your book and vice versa’ @V_Mpress”]
And once you’re finished with your manuscript, feel free to submit it to the boutique publishing house I co-founded, Velvet Morning Press! We are currently accepting submissions for chick lit and romance, but you can check our website for the most current submission info once you’re ready.
Bestselling author Vicki Lesage proves daily that raising two French kids isn’t as easy as the hype lets on. In her three minutes of spare time per week, she writes, sips bubbly, and prepares for the impending zombie apocalypse. She lives in Paris with her French husband, rambunctious son, and charming daughter, all of whom mercifully don’t laugh when she says “au revoir.” She penned the Paris Confessions series in between diaper changes and wine refills. She writes about the ups and downs of life in the City of Light at VickiLesage.com. Connect on Facebook and Twitter.