This post are my notes from the live session at Blog World Expo in Las Vegas.  Please forgive me if I misspell anything or if some of the notes don’t make sense, as I am trying to gather as much information from each speaker as I can.

Quick Facts on the Session

  • Topic: From Blog to Book
  • About: Why do some bloggers become authors, while others can’t get a contract? What do publishing companies look for? This panel will include tips and information from both authors and a represenative from the publishing industry.
  • Speaker: Warren Whitlock, Stephanie Agresta, Ellen Gerstein, Simon Salt

Live Notes

Each of the panelist give their story about what book they have written and how their book(s) came to be.

  • Your book is just ONE medium, not your entire business.
  • Your blog really helps you formulate what you want to write about for your blog

How do you pitch a publisher?

When you contact a publisher you want to create a proposal similar to contacting a VC for funding.  You need to be able to show what you will create, how you will market it and who is your audience. When you create your proposal it has the table of contents in there, so that will help get the ball rolling and formulate your initial thoughts.

How important is building a strong platform for an other?

Everything that is outside of your book is your platform.  Everything is relative.  If you have a large following and are already a thought leader in your industry, it is much easier to sell your book.  You need to build your blog, social media presence, and experience to have quality content for your book.

You can test what you put in your book, by testing it on your blog or other platforms.  If you notice that a lot of people are responding to a specific topic on your blog, you may want to expand on that topic in your blog.

Advantages with working with a major publisher?

You have the ability to utilize a major support system.  You don’t have to worry about all of the questions that go into marketing, creation, and distribution of the book.  You have a lot more resources at your disposal.  If you are associated with a major publisher that can help with credibility.

If you are a self publisher that is ok, but you need to hire the right people to help with book design and editing.

Can you start with an ebook, than turn it into a book?

It depends on what your goals are.  If you are trying to get better distribution of your book, then yes taking it to a publisher that achieve that goal.

They talk about the ebook from David Merriman Scott that went from a free 20 page ebook to what is now “The New Rules of Marketing and PR”.

Stephanie mentions that even a Twitter account like “Shitmydadsays” has turned into a TV show.

You also need to think about offline events and print collateral for your book promotion.

Make sure you tweet this post with the Hashtag #bwe10