It takes most book authors about a year to complete a book.
Some take a little less time. Some take a lot more time. There are obviously a number of factors involved.
Even great works that seem to take a short amount of time, such as the 6-weeks it took Dickens to pen A Christmas Carol, there is a great deal of pre-writing thought put in.
With all that effort going into publishing the main work and product, why would a book author consider maintaining a personal blog?
Here are a few reasons…
1. To Improve Writing
If you’re a published book author, you’re a good writer. Probably a great writer. Bad authors rarely make it through the entire process. Obviously it can happen, but not consistently.
But the thing about great writers is they’re always looking to improve. That’s really true about the people that are great at whatever they are doing. They appreciate what they’ve done. But they’re always looking to keep going. They know that the process is important to future success.
A blog is a great way to continue improving as a writer. The nature of a blog, consistent publishing, creates a writing and publishing and feedback routine that helps writers. Even those that are really good or even great already.
2. To Test New Ideas
A book is a big commitment. It’s certainly possible to choose an idea you feel good about and take it all the way through to the end. You publish it. It could be great. It could flop. That’s going to be the case no matter what. But with something like a blog, you at least have a platform for testing ideas. That can provide some data to backup your ideas before you take them all the way.
Let’s say you have a thought for a new book. You do some research. Now, publish a few blog posts on it. See how the audience responds. If the feedback is great, that likely means there is interest. Obviously it’s not a guarantee, but you’re probably better off than guessing all the way through the book process.
3. To Work On Side Curiosities
A book can be all consuming. You’re focused on one thing for up to a year. That’s a big commitment. As a writer, you’re creative. You have other interests. A blog can be a way to satisfy those other interests. This can leave you feel good about those things and ready and interested and rejuvenated to go back to work regularly on your book project.
We all have our work. In nearly every case, it’s good to have side interests. At least one thing you can focus a little time on to get your mind off the work once in awhile.
4. To Gain Quicker Reward
I remember several years ago reading or seeing an interview with Jerry Bruckheimer. Throughout the ’80s and ’90s, he had been involved in the film industry. He was producing films every year and doing very well. Then around 2000, he started getting into television. He was a producer on The Amazing Race and CSI. Two of the biggest shows of the decade.
When asked why he got into TV, Bruckheimer said something along the lines that TV provided a quicker reward compared to film.
A blog can offer that quicker reward for writers. Books take a long time. Perhaps a year to write and a year to edit and then maybe even a year to publish and promote. That’s a long time from the initial idea to the finished product.
With a blog, you can “go to market” much faster. Now, that doesn’t mean it’s better than publishing a book. But it does mean you can satisfy that part of you, even if it’s a small part, that craves a little more instant gratification.
5. To Build A Larger Audience
Blogging is one great way to build an audience. I would suggest that focusing most of your time on your books is by far the best way to build your audience. It probably helps to partner with a great publisher with a history of selling lots of books. But in the long run it always comes down to the material.
But a blog is another way to bring people to you. To learn about what you’re doing. People that will buy your latest book, your future books and possibly even your entire back catalog.
And since it involves writing, you’ll probably be really good at it.
Is blogging a necessity for a book author? Definitely not. Is it a great way for a book author to find benefit? It’s certainly a great option. If you’re looking for something more out of your life, a personal blog offers great challenges and opportunities.