Sunday, 16 November 2008

Writing a book based on a website

My main blog is Colin's Beauty Pages, a blog devoted to the science of beauty and its practical applications. I want to reproduce some of the key content as an e-book. Having a full time job, a sideline business and a half dozen blogs to maintain I have to work out a way of keeping this project going in very very small chunks. I find I can usually manage to scrape an odd 15 minutes together at some point most days, so ideally I want to be able to fit this project into 15 minute chunks.

I don't know how it would work for other people, but I find that I can often get a blog post done in 15 minutes. Sometimes I bite off more than I can chew, and I have to spread a post over several 15 minute sessions. A 15 minute session to tart up and extend an existing blog post also works well.

So my challenge is to get writing a book into that format. The trick to it seems to be to set things up so you can sit down and start working straight away on what you want to achieve - the organisation has to be pretty fluid. Blogging fits in fine with this because it is so immediate - and a short blog post is worth doing.

Can I make it work for a much bigger project. The key will be getting the organisation right. I will try the following approach.

Set up the chapters on Scribd.

Set up the drafts of the chapter as drafts on Ecto - publish them when they are sort of readable and then transfer to Scribd.

Keep a master file of my progress on this blog. Nobody ever reads this blog so that shouldn't annoy anyone, but if they do I will have links to the Scribd documents to look at if they are interested. I know that statisitically speaking it is unlikely that many people will stumble across this blog as I make no effort whatever to promote it and it doesn't have any keywords. But the fact that someone might look at it is quite a good discipline - it forces me to write in a way that is intelligible, or at least intended to be, for the sake of my theoretical but probably non-existent readers.

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