Blogging your book away – how much is too much?


Will posting chapters and parts of your book on your blog take away from your publishing success?

My_Memoir_Tuesday_Cartoon

I have been told often that I should save more of my blog posts to include in my memoir. Usually this advice comes from people who love and care for me. I really appreciate that concern. I know this concern was not expressed for the fear of copyright, although I should be concern about that too; I am told I am ‘giving away’ a section of writing that may be building up tension or crucial to the climax of a chapter or even the memoir itself.

We choose what we share on our blogs. I know I could be just giving away the important parts in my memoir without realising it, but as I write the story evolves. I also feel the need to challenge my self even more by improving that story after I have posted it. Often I feel that if I re-write as much as I can, I like it more and the story becomes another story – an even better story. I remember things and add them. I show what I am saying better, with the right words. I enjoy details, sound, smell, how it feels and colours. When I re-write often, I speak the English word better, because it is not my first language and I need the practice. This may sound confusing, but it is about the evolution of the story and how the story journeys through its form until it becomes the one invention I and hopefully the editor is satisfied with.

I am grateful for the good advice, and without being too cocky, I must admit, my other fault lies in wanting to share immediately. My enthusiasm and thrill of a draft completion leads to, the need to read the story to someone. I want to tell the story.  This may not be what other aspiring authors do. And, I am not advising anyone on what they should do with their potential best-seller. I wanted to make a point that whatever bits and pieces you read of my memoir is a piece of the story. I hope by the time I complete the memoir, I would still offer you a whole story and not six chapters of what I have left – from blog posts. Perhaps some of the blogger/author friends can share in the comments, how they manage this issue. Now, I have another story to tell…..

Recently through my friend and fellow WordPress blogger hiMe, I found another Papua New Guinea/Australia woman writer, June Perkins. As we bloggers do, we socialise while we write. For me to find a wantok, someone from your place, it is quite special. Perkin’s work has been published on Australia Broadcasting Commission(ABC Open) that hiMe writes for.  Once hiMe gave me the link and I reached out, it did not take long for June to come to the meeting place – this blog.

I am very happy to get to know June (virtually) and read some of her stories. It is also wonderful to find stories between us that have similarities and that common place. Reading through June’s posts, I found this piece of writing and I was thrilled that it was related to my post tonight about how much is too much to share on blogs. I hope you enjoy June’s post and have time to visit June Perkins‘ blog in the future.

dancingintoslipstreamlarge
A possible cover for an upcoming book – bringing my poetry on Art and Spirituality together – June Perkins

My blog is the place where the journey to my books has begun.

I have fed them continuously like journals with drafts and polished works.

Blogs have helped me make writing, remembering, reflecting and imagining a regular practice.

Blogs have encouraged me to make photography a regular practice.

Through reading other blogs I have found storytellers, poets, writers, travellers, film makers, and people who want to bring peace to the world through art. These people have inspired me with their journeys, writing, and photographs in their blogs.

Blogs have helped me so much so that when I have lived in the outer/country, I sometimes felt cut off from this larger creative world.

Blogs helped me heal from the damage of a cyclone to my old home and become a community journalist.

My own blogs have become a resource, full of roughly cut books. They have become archives for my family and friends to search our shared history.

Now I begin another journey. On this one, I take the rough cuts and unstructured writings shared the blogs and begin to place them into book structures.

It is time for me to polish more.

I move beyond the relatively free form of my blog and start to create anthologies and memoirs with sections, and chapters, and titles. I edit my blogs and add and subtract from them.

I create new pieces to connect blogs posts, and put them in these books, and save up for when they go public. They are held back from my blog to be surprises. My blog increasingly becomes a place for sharing the process of what I am up too rather than the final product.

The most inspiring things about blogs are:

1- The way they can potentially connect with the writer with readers and invite an immediate response.

2- The way blogs can respond to national and international events in the moment.

3- Their cheap access to a publishing platform for many in the world.

4- Their global reach.

5- Their capacity to build an audience for an emerging storyteller.

The challenges of a blog can be:

1- Blogging becomes addictive. You keep feeding your blog and not get on with sending off works for publication.

2- You share work you could or should be publishing as a book or article.

3- Copyright protection.

4-Some blogs focus too much on sales and not enough on content or connection. These blogs concentrate more on sale pitches and some are scammers.

5-Blogging can be challenging to build a large audience for your blog, and requires time, good quality content and social skills.

I will still blog when I have something I don’t want to forget, or something that moves my heart, or maybe a photo to share, but now I truly have to share a little less on my blog, and make you some SURPRISES.

More soon…..

(c) June Perkins

41 thoughts on “Blogging your book away – how much is too much?”

  1. I agree…I am able to share so much with my blog readers…and I don’t believe it’s had any impact on sales of my book…in fact Twitter, facebook and my blog have actually increased sales. I now sell copies of my book directly from my blog via Paypal. Also sold on Amazon but only hardcopies, no e books!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Since Malcolm Gladwell says you get really good at something after spending 10,000 hours on it, blogging seems the perfect exercise for writing a book. Plus, you can get immediate feedback.

    This is an issue I’ve been grappling with, So thanks for your thoughts.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Reblogged this on Pearlz Dreaming and commented:
    An very interesting discussion about how much is too much to give away of your writing on line and blogging as form of draft creation for books. Thanks so much to Joyceline Leahy for sharing my ideas and sparking discussion on this topic on her blog. I have been thinking a lot about this topic lately.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Another interesting idea to consider is that reading a blog is not the same as reading a book. You reveal to the reader, your life in reverse. The front page revealing the most recent, not the earliest day by day postings. Online writing is in itself and art form and a legitimate form of publication. Taking any blogs into book form you reshape and structure and edit into a vastly different form.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Thanks for sharing this. I think you can reshape the work from your blog quite dramatically and treat your blog like an additional research preparation journey so book and blog or book and website complement rather than duplicate each other. The blog can be a thinking out loud, a draft space, a place of creation. Many fiction writers now have background to characters and setting research so the text in the blog is not exactly the same as in book. I think in my own work I am trying to do the same thing with memoir. Currently my favourite explorations are from the Sherlock Holmes television show and the BBC had Holmes and Watson both have mock blogs. Brilliant.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. You’re obviously thinking very hard about all this. I noted what Chris said, above, and think that is very important. I would never ‘blog’ long sections of my books, although i have shared short snippets. I’m never sure if whether people would want to read long chapters. Many bloggere haven’t the time and would probably skip the post (unless you happen to be a best-selling author!) It’s difficult to know what’s best, isn’t it? 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes Millie, thank you for commenting. Some bloggers post and the entirety of their stories or series are used by publishers. Some publishers don’t like that as Chris said..so I guess the decision lies in what you want to achieve with the posts as Sue Coletta mentioned (enticing readers) and who you want to publish with.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Another thought is that many magazines and journals are now publishing online. People buy subscriptions and then go into read posts and stories. Many online publications are keeping genres like poetry alive, by keeping the cost of publication down and recouping costs through subscriptions based workings.

        Liked by 1 person

    2. Very true – most people prefer to read 500 words or less in blog posts. They also like them formatted in a way that makes it easy to tackle them on the screen. Point form, bold, italics, lots of space between text. Teasers can get people interested in your work.You may want to leave them asking for more.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Yes, I think if readers are overloaded with great, long sections of anything, they’re more than likely not to read any of it. Many bloggers have huge followings and their Readers are full-to-bursting every day. They simply haven’t the time to spend reading pages of someone’s story/article. I suppose offering the first chapter of a book free might be a good idea as a one-off. Other than that, I think you’re right about ‘teasers’. As I said to Joycelin. it’s so hard to know how to do things for the best. I’m open to all the advice I can get on self-promotion. Thank you for sharing your thought on this. 🙂

        Liked by 2 people

      2. I think poetry, short stories, and short episodes suits most blogs. I have written extended poems in parts and then had a summary put it all together blog. Still experimenting with this.

        Liked by 2 people

  7. I agree with everything you said about reading blogs. My world opened up too when I started blogging. Regarding sharing your work– everything on your blog is protected from anyone stealing it. But I only share my first chapters– hoping to entice rather than give away my books. However, what’s right for me may not be right for you. And that’s okay. That’s the greatest thing about blogging– we are all very different, which keeps things exciting.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. I think a person who is working on a novel or series (like me) has to be very careful about what they publish. That is why I am only posting introductions to my characters and random stories involving them, rather than parts of the actual thing.
    I do not want to give anything big away that relates to the plot and sub plots.

    Like

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