Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Interview with Nina Amir, author of 'How to Blog a Book'

Greetings from Readers Muse!
          I really loved reading your book ‘How to blog a book’ and it was filled with information, links and pointers that I bookmarked. (I am an aspiring author). Thank you for taking your time to answer my questions.
          Reading your book before I framed questions for this interview made a marked difference. All the questions that I usually want to ask the author being interviewed were already covered in detail in the book, and I have run out of questions! I have tried to ask a few questions that I hope aren’t repetitive.
1.    When you first came up with this idea, how easy or difficult was this to envision?
          Not difficult at all! I saw all the bloggers who were being offered traditioanl book deals just because they had successful blogs. And I already had the idea for how to create a marketable book, which became my second book, The Author Training Manual. I just applied the principles from The Author Training Manual—the need for a business pan—to the idea of intentionally blogging a book—writing it post by post on a blog. I saw how this would be much easier than trying to create a manuscript from posts you had published with no thought of wirting a book. If you blogged a book, clearly you would create the manuscript as you blogged.

2.    (For readers who haven’t come across your book) Can you say something that will make non bloggers want to read the book?
          If you have been struggling to find time to write your book as you also try to build that coveted author platform, How to Blog a Book Revised and Expanded Edition teaches you how to efficently, quickly, and easily write your book and develop a built-in readership for your book in your target market. If you have felt overwhelmed by the task of writing a book, and you have been avoiding promoting yourself and your book idea, this book shows you exactly how to write, publish, and promote your book one post at a time. Discover how to chunk down your book project into manageable pieces—posts—that you can write in as little as 30 to 60 minutes per day. And find out how to promote and build platform as you do so. If it’s your dream to bulid a business around your blog and your book, the information is in this edition as well. You’ll also discover how to repurpose your published blog content into a book. Imagine what you will miss if you don’t read this book?
3.    In this age of digital piracy how effective will a blogged book be?
          Blogged books are extremelly effective. They attract potential buyers and build your online presence. It’s one of the most effective ways to churn out books and promote them at the same time.
          If you are asking about copyright, a blog should be regsitered with the copyright office regulalry. There is information on this topic in this edition of How to Blog a Book.
          That said, when you hit the “publish” button on your blog, you basically copyright the material by publishing it. Under the Copyright law of 1976, which went into affect in 1978, any work created in a fixed form is protected by copyright upon creation. So, when a work is put into any fixed form—printed out from your office printer, published as an e-book, booklet or POD book, or sent out into Cyberspace as a blog post, your written work is protected by copyright. That means your completed and published blog post, or all the posts that comprise your blogged book, represent written works created in fixed form, thus they are protected by copyright.
          You can put a copyright sign on your blog somewhere. That’s helpful as well.
          I find there is little piracy of content going on. Occasionally content gets “scraped,” and used verbatim on another blog without acknowledgement. You can usually get it taken down. More often you find your work copied and cited correctly with a link back to your blog.
          You have more to fear from the potential that your work won’t be found than that it will be stolen. If it’s being stolen, you’re discoverable, and discoverability is everything when it comes to blogging or blogging a book.
4.    Since blogging is a continuously evolving process, (many bloggers read their own posts and create new posts to write about the things they missed in the first one) the idea of clearly forming a book in a finite number of posts seems a difficult feat (even with the comprehensive guide you have written). Your comments on this?
          It’s not a difficult feat or even impossible if you follow the guidelines outlined in How to Blog a Book, in particular the whole section on creating a business plan for your book. (For more information on this process, read The Author Training Manual.) To successfully blog a book, you need a detailed blog plan. That means you have planned out your mansucript, your book, post by post. You know what is going in every chapter.
          That said, as with all books, some things get added in the revision stage. Your blogged book is a first draft. You will definitley expand it as you edit and revise. Not only that, your blog plan should include content that does not appear on the blog but is “saved” for the final version and printed or digital book.
5.    Even if it has been mentioned in the book, I am asking again, in your experience, which topics have sold out the best when converted from blogs?
          I didn’t mention this. However, many humorous blogs have been turned into books. Also blogs that have a visual aspect to them seem attractive to some publishers who offer blog-to-book deals.
Readers Muse Clarification: (a list of blogs that have been made into books has been given – though not the topics themselves. There has been no mention of a particular genre being successful. The topics themselves are self explanatory!)
6.    What part does an attractive title play in making a book a bestseller and to what extent does it have to be similar to the title of the blog?
          A title plays a huge part. For a nonfiction book, if your title doesn’t tell readers what the book is about and what benefit they will receive from reading it, it typically won’t sell. Even for fiction, a good title helps sell books. The title doesn’t have to be the same as the blog, but many have been.
7.    If you had to rate all the activities (according to the percentage of their importance in the whole) involved in writing, publishing and promoting a book, (for example writing, doing market research, promoting in other blogs, garnering reviews, etc.,) how would the pie chart look? Which activities would be the most important?
          The most important are doing your market and competive analysis and then developing your book idea based on what you learn. This is how you write a marketable book—one that will sell. In the process, you also learn how to target your market. This helps you build your author platform and market your book successfully. No matter how viable the product (book) you produce, though, you have to put just as much—if not more—effort into promoting it post release as you do into to crafting and writing a marketable book. I’m not sure if that gives you a pie chart, but I hope it helps.
8.    Managing one blog is hectic by itself. You have written about how you managed to hold the interest in your four blogs. Can you give one tip to bloggers who want to manage multiple blogs?
          Pick topics about which you feel passionate. Blog because it feels on purpose—fulfills your mission or calling.

Then, write on a schedule and stick to it. Schedule posts in advance if need be, but make blogging a daily writing practice.
          And remember: Your readers are waiting for the next post—or the next installment of your book. Don’t let them down. That feeling of accountability will keep you blogging.

Reading the ‘About the Author’ section of the book really made me go ‘Wow!’ I would be grateful if you would answer the following off-beat questions in a sentence or two J
·        Your favourite authors (Fiction?): Dianna Gabldon
·        Your favourite authors (Non Fiction?): Wayne Dyer, Deepak Choprah, Brendon Bouchard, Dan Millman
·        Your favourite book in fiction and non fiction? The Outlander Series by Diana Gabaldon and The Seventh Telling by Mitch Chefitz; Change Your Thoughts, Change Your Life by Wayne Dyer and God is a Verb by David Cooper.
·        One book that you often thumb through? None in particular.
·        For an aspiring writer which is more important – connecting with the storyline or passion to write it?
I don’t write fiction, so I can’t speak to storyline. I’d say passion, therefore.
·        In what way has blogging positively impacted you?
It helped me build an author platform. More than that, it allowed me to have a postive and meaninful impact in the world. More people read my blogs posts every day than will likely buy or read my books. That means I transform more lives as a blogger than as an author.

Thank you once again for answering questions for Readers Muse!


          Nina Amir, the bestselling author of How to Blog a Book and The Author Training Manual, is a speaker, a blogger, and an author, book, and blog-to-book coach. Known as the Inspiration to Creation Coach, she helps creative people combine their passion and purpose so they move from idea to inspired action and positively and meaningfully impact the world as writers, bloggers, authorpreneurs, and blogpreneurs. Some of Nina’s clients have sold 300,000+ copies of their books, landed deals with major publishing houses and created thriving businesses around their books. She is the founder of National Nonfiction Writing Month, aka the Write Nonfiction in November Challenge, and the Nonfiction Writers’ University. As a hybrid author she has published 15 books and had as many as four books on the Amazon Top 100 list at the same time. 

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