People thinking of telling a big story might consider beginning with a blog.
As a blogger myself, I often tell people thinking of writing their life story that a blog is a great way to document individual stories and invite feedback. Think about this: You write a great little story about a memory of your Uncle Joe. You invite family members to read it, and they add comments with details of Uncle Joe you didn’t know or might have forgotten. Your Cousin Hercules add his two cents correcting one of your facts (he was always such a know-it-all anyway). Now this vignette of Uncle Joe is more complete and accurate. Once a week or so, you write another story and invite more feedback. At some point, you can assemble all your little stories into a book about your life and family, and all along, your family learns a little something about your perspective on life.
Cool, huh? Blog-to-books are an effective way to becoming an author, and I recently helped a man who’s a blogger and personal historian do just that.
Business Tips for Personal Historians: 92 Lessons Learned from a Veteran Storyteller by Dan Curtis is written for people serious about making a business of helping tell life stories in print or film but to be honest, it’s a handy reference for anyone working at home. It includes chapters on setting up a business, finding and keeping clients, marketing and pricing your work and taking care of yourself–the CEO and chief bottle washer of your business. The book is also a good study on how a blog looks and reads in print.
This is the second book by Curtis published by Personal History Press for people interested in personal histories, and it benefits members of the Association of Personal Historians, of which I am a member.
Curtis didn’t sit down and write this book in a month (or even a year). Business Tips for Personal Historians is drawn from his widely read blog which he maintained for several years (he reflects on the process of writing a blog that becomes a book in a contribution to the Association of Personal Historians blog here). Curtis, from Victoria, British Columbia, is a documentary filmmaker, writer, certified life coach and professional personal historian. Editor Kathleen McGreevy at Chapter Savers categorized, arranged and edited hundreds of blog posts to create this and a second book that came out in April (Skills for Personal Historians: 102 Savvy Ideas to Boost Your Expertise).
My expertise came into play by designing the works into e-books and paperbacks. Buy the paperback here, the Kindle version here and the Nook version here. It was gratifying to play a role in bringing popular Curtis’ work to a new life.
Interested in turning your blog into a book? Maybe I can help. Contact me here.