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Guest Post: How to write a book or blog (Part 3)

General tips, recommendations and comments:

Go back and answer those questions posed at the beginning of this piece to help determine the best route for getting your book or blog published. Find, develop and refine your voice or writing style including approach, tone and focus. Seek help and advice from others, be mindful of their time and in return, see how you can help them with something. Likewise find a project that is open to having you join in as a collaborator or put your own collaboration together. Do not be afraid to ask others who are already published to participate.

Get your blog up and running if it isn’t already, and use that to help organize your thoughts, then evolve those ideas into an outline for your book. This will be handy when you put a proposal together for a publisher. Leverage your blog or website as a repository and portfolio which can complement your book as well as serve as a quick reference of your other works.

Go to http://storageioblog.com and my main site http://storageio.com to see examples of how things interact and tie back to each other, ranging from articles, tips, and reports, to events and videos among other items.

For a book project, have a plan that includes research, administration, writing, editing, proofing, layout, composition and other production activities along with promotion. Understand your time constraints for doing all these things, factoring in other projects, work, family and time to sleep. When you get writer’s block which you will, having other things to do, such as administrative work, figures or diagrams design, research or editing can be a great way to productively use the time while you can’t write.

Another tip is to maintain a list of ideas and items that end up on the cutting room floor (things that do not make it into the actual product) so you something to go to when you hit a writer’s block moment.

Conduct a make vs. buy decision similar to what you may do in your IT job. That is, you can write it yourself, or you can have it written for you. With my books, I do them the old-fashioned way, which is to write them myself working with a publisher and their publishing service to handle production items. But celebrities and politicians are not the only ones who have ghost writers, as they can be a cost effective way for an executive or a busy professional to trade money for time.

Talk with different publishers to see what they will do for you and how you can work with them, as well as if it is a good fit for both parties. At the beginning of this piece I mentioned questions to ask and one of those is important: Why are you looking to write and publish a book? If the topic is narrow with a small target audience, a traditional or specialty publisher is not a good fit, you may want to look at self-publishing.

If you are sensitive to others editing and rearranging your work, either develop thicker skin or avoid working a formal publisher, as rest assured, their style will differ from yours. However when working with publishers, you can compromise on style and grammar, but make sure that you maintain your voice, tone and editorial objective.

Leverage publishing services for copy editing, proofing, layout, pagination, indexing, glossaries and other pre-press functions. There are many services as well as individuals that can do these tasks for you.

If you are simply looking to become a published book author, you can take shortcuts such as signing up with some of the eBook sites. Some venues will pay you to write what effectively is a long “white paper” that they in turn publish as an eBook with or without somebody sponsoring it.

Regardless of whether you are going to self-publish, ePublish or go with a traditional publisher, your success will depend on what you are willing to do in order to market and promote it.

Needless to say, there are many more things to talk about pertaining to writing a book, creating a blog or producing videos, podcasts etc., however it is time for us to wrap up for now. Feel free to drop me a note with any questions that I can address. Also let me know when you get your blog up and running or your book published.

Cheers,
Gs

[How to write a book or blog, Part 1]
[How to write a book or blog, Part 2


About the author

Greg Schulz is founder of Server and StorageIO, an IT industry advisory consultancy firm, and author of the books Cloud and Virtual Data Storage Networking (CRC Press, 2011), The Green and Virtual Data Center (CRC Press, 2009), and Resilient Storage Network (Elsevier, 2004). Learn more atwww.storageio.comwww.storageioblog.com or on twitter @storageio.

 

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