How to turn your blog into a book

 We know many of you love your blogs, and gleefully publish photos and posts without thoughts to reuse your work in other forms. But we know some wonder: could this be a book? Recently we wrote about how a WordPress.com blogger scored a book deal for You Are Not So Smart . But what if you want to do it all yourself? As a blogger who has authored several successful books with publishers , and who works on WordPress.com, I recently self-published a book based entirely on posts from my blog. I wanted to see what I could learn, and I’m here to share it all with you. The book I self-published is called Mindfire: Big Ideas for Curious Minds . It’s a collection of my best essays from my WordPress blog at scottberkun.com , where I write about ideas, creativity and leadership. The book has done well, and has often been in the top 100 books on philosophy and other categories on amazon  since it was published. There are four questions I often get asked by other bloggers. 1. How do you shape a blog into a book? This is the wrong way to start. A book is a different reading experience than a blog, and to “shape” a blog into a book assumes words are like clay, where you can shove them into any shape you like. A book is a longer reading experience, and every chapter, or every page, needs to line up in a readable way with the others. It will take some effort to rework  material written for a blog to fit well together as a book. Don’t start with the assumption you’ll include every single post on your blog, or keep them in the chronological order they were written. The first step is to make two lists : possible posts and possible concepts. You might discover a book concept that’s strong, but you only have 10 or 12 posts that fit. That’s ok. You can always choose to write more. Of course the theme of your entire blog could be the theme for a book, but consider other concepts too. I went back to the beginning and made a list of posts that might be good enough to include. I made a separate list of possible book concepts. One concept I saw in some of my posts was intelligent provocation: asking big questions and offering intelligent and entertaining answers. I filtered the list based on that concept, and arrived at 45 possible posts.  Then I hired an editor to help refine the list, and the result was 30 posts that, while all written independently, fit together into an excellent read. There are services like Blurb  or Blog2print that will take your WordPress.com blog and build a book from it . If your WordPress blog is self-hosted, and not on WordPress.com , you might take a look at  Anthologize , a plugin that automates the process of converting your blog into an e-book. But these services do nothing to shape your work into a great read . No software can do this for you.  There is an enormous distance between a ‘book’ and a ‘book someone will enjoy reading’ and that distance is closed only by your hard work. Plan to take a draft version of your book and ask people to read it. Ask for feedback on improving the order of posts, or which posts don’t fit. You’ll notice people expect tighter and more careful writing in a book, compared to reading posts online. It’s acting on this feedback that makes the difference between a book that feels like a book, and a book that feels like a bunch of random posts thrown together. Revise posts, or write new material, to develop the book into a singular strong narrative. I asked for volunteers on my blog for people to give feedback on the drafts and their input was a key part of making the book so strong. 2. How do you actually (self) publish a book? To go the traditional route, you’ll need to reach out to publishers or agents and try to find one that’s interested . This takes significant effort beyond writing the book itself. In all cases, traditional or self-published, the hardest part is writing and editing an excellent book. If you’re dedicated to your book, self-publishing can allow you to focus your energy on making the book better, rather than in searching for someone to give you a chance you can give yourself. If you already have a well edited manuscript, you are most of the way there: the technical parts of self-publishing are surprisingly easy. You take your complete manuscript, after it has been copyedited and reviewed by an editor, and convert it to a PDF. With a PDF in hand, there are many services that will convert your PDF to a print or digital book for you. For Mindfire , I used Lightning Source for the print edition, and a service called BookBaby to manage the digital editions.  These services list the book on amazon.com , and it can be purchased like any other book on amazon.com, including Kindle , iBook and other digital versions. It doesn’t cost much: maybe a few hundred dollars. If you choose to only produce a digital version, it can be much cheaper. The more work you do, the cheaper the services are. If you are willing to hire your own editor and cover designer, or do those tasks yourself, and take care of details like getting an ISBN number , you can user services like   Lightning Source  or CreateSpace  to simply print and distribute he book. But if you want to hire people to help you, services like CreateSpace  and  Lulu.com  let you pay them to take care of many steps on your behalf. 3. Why would people buy a book if the content is free on the blog? The rise of the iPad and Kindle have proven the demand for longer reading experiences, experiences longer than what the web provides. A compilation of your work offers a deeper experience than what people get through your blog alone. Blogs are fantastic for small to medium length reading experiences, but to consume 40 or 50 posts without interruption, posts that are chosen to fit together on a specific theme, you need something else. A book is a better experience for this kind of continuous reading. A book gives you an object demonstrating your talents to potential clients, business partners or anyone in the world you wish to impress. Since a book is often perceived as being a greater accomplishment than having a blog, it can be a stronger invitation to a new reader to give your work a try. It also allows your fans and friends to buy copies of your book to give to their friends as gifts: it helps them help you spread word of your work. 4. How can I use my blog to help the book succeed with the book? If you involve your readers as your produce the book, they will naturally help spread word when it’s done. Using polls  I asked my readers to help pick the title , to give feedback on several rounds of cover designs , and many other decisions . This attracted new readers curious about how books are made, and allowed me to collaborate with my readers on the book, increasing their interest in seeing it finished and released. It’s counterintuitive, but giving the book away for free for a time helps a new book, and your blog, tremendously . First it rewards your regular readers – who deserves a free copy more than your regular readers? The free give-away helps enlist them to reach out to their networks to bring more people to your blog for the first time. I gave Mindfire away for free for 48 hours , and had over 10,000 people download the book. It’s true my blog is popular, but many of those downloads were by people who had never heard of me before. My great fans on my site helped spread word on twitter and Facebook of my free offer, spreading my reach for future blog posts and books. I still give 1/3rd of the book away for free as a preview for anyone who wants to give it a try. 5. What’s the first step to take? You’re a blogger: start by blogging about it. Ask your readers if they’re interested in helping you work on a book. Post your list of book concepts and see what they think. Perhaps there’s an author, editor or designer who reads your work that can lend their expertise. Take a careful look at the work you’ve already written and start thinking about what concepts might match. Have questions about converting your blog into a book? Leave a comment.

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5 Top Tricks to Finding the Best Dog Insurance

Will the price of restoring your cherished dog’s health require that you put a price on love? Isn’t this the worry we all face, considering the growing expense of veterinary attention, plus the chance of unexpected illness or accident? Your friend Boomer could lick up anti-freeze, run out into the road, or be attacked by a Lyme-infested tick, and all your savings could very well evaporate. Or something worse. Maybe you have thought about pet insurance, but didn’t know the place to start. Some basic guidelines will help you compare the various plans out there to get the best dog insurance to suit you and Boomer.  TIP #1: KNOW WHAT YOU WANT FROM INSURANCE FOR YOUR DOG The best dog insurance will provide health care for your dog while protecting your ability to pay the bill. While no pet insurance policy pays 100% of vet costs, the reimbursement it provides could make the difference. Before you start researching, write down specific information about your dog. Breed, age, current medical condition, date of last vet visit, activity level, and any genetic or recurring illnesses, are all important in finding insurance for dogs. It’s also a good idea to know what you currently spend on routine vet care, medications, and unexpected visits to the vet. Total up a year’s worth of vet expenses so you can compare this amount to the cost of the dog insurance. TIP #2: FIND PEOPLE WHO KNOW THE BEST DOG INSURANCE Talk to at least two vets, maybe more. Ask them about their experiences with pet insurance. Most plans reimburse you rather than paying the vet. But find out if your local vets consider one to be the best dog insurance. You might also contact a multi-specialty vet practice and an emergency clinic. These professionals can provide estimates for the big procedures you may have not yet faced. The best dog insurance is designed to help you pay for these kinds of events. Other sources of information about insurance for your dog are other dog owners, the breeder of your dog, and even a local kennel club. You might find someone with first-hand experience with dog insurance who can give you a good idea what to expect. TIP #3: UNDERSTAND DOG INSURANCE PLAN OPTIONS There are many types of dog insurance plans. Some cover accidents and emergencies, while others will reimburse you for routine vet care. Medication can be included in the basic plan or offered at additional cost. Look for a pet insurance plan that reimburses a percentage of the total vet bill. Some plans only cover “usual and customary” charges, which are averages collected by the insurance company. This is often much less than what you will pay the vet. TIP #4: EVEN THE BEST DOG INSURANCE HAS LIMITS AND EXCLUSIONS Every pet insurance plan has deductibles, co-pays, and policy limits. The best dog insurance will have annual deductibles and limits so if your dog is sick more than once in a year, these limits won’t kick in every time you go to the vet. You can choose the co-pay percentage that works best for you. Two of the most important factors in dog insurance are pre-existing illness and breed-specific exclusions. If your dog has been treated for anything recently, most pet insurance plans will not pay for treatment with diagnosis for a certain period of time. Unfortunately, some dog breeds have hereditary or genetic health problems that may require more vet care than other breeds. Your first choice dog insurance plan may exclude your dog if she’s one of these breeds. There may also be exclusions for older dogs or those with chronic illness (like allergies). Be sure you look closely at all the exclusions. TIP #5: DECIDE WHICH DOG INSURANCE PLAN IS BEST FOR YOU Choosing the best dog insurance plan can be a difficult decision. Balance your dog’s health needs with the plan options and the total cost per year. You may be more willing to pay out-of-pocket for routine care than pay a higher premium every month. Or you may want the security of knowing the pet insurance will help pay for all your dog’s vet care. It may be entirely possible that you may conclude there is no best dog insurance policy for you. When you have adequate money to cover a worst-case illness or injury, that may be the right choice in your case. However you choose, you will know you have done everything you can to guarantee the health of your best friend. And you’ll have peace of mind knowing you’ll never be forced to put a price on his affection. Ready to buy, but afraid of getting ripped off? Even after you decide you want pet insurance, you might be having a hard time deciding between all the options. Insurance companies don’t make it easy to understand, and you’re not alone in thinking you could pay too much. But you CAN cut through the jargon and save money, too. Just follow the steps in the Pet Insurance Guide For Everyone. You’ve made a wise decision, now follow through. Learn all about Pet Insurance Comparisons by clicking the link. Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/6458419

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Types of Patio Pet Doors That Suit Them Best

Patio pet doors have been made available to pet owners so that they do not need to make holes in their doors. Just to mention few of them, there are few available on the market today: sliding doors for pets, electronic doors, pet doors for walls, dog door sliding, pet safe cat flap doors, sliding glass dog door and many others. We will concentrate on the dog door sliding, per safe cat flap door and sliding dog doors. Sliding glass dog door Before choosing the sliding door for dogs, one has to consider the height and size of the dog. This is to help avoid situation where by the dog after some few months after is has grown it cannot be able to pass through the patio dog door sliding. Thus it is advised that you should go for one that is bigger than the pet itself. An good example could be the Thermo Panel III Patio Pet Door. They use Endura flap which is fantastic; apparently the glass does not need to be single or dual for it insulating feature. It also contain magnet to help resist wind which other similar doors dot not have. This feature makes it durable as it is not affected by strong wind which can damage them. It also has a high aspect ratio which makes the dog to fit in it. The door is also adjustable thus as the dog continues to grow you do not need to do way with the door but you only need to adjust it. Pet safe cat flap doors Another example patio pet door is the pet safe cat flaps doors. Example is magnetic cat flap, infra red cat flap and 4cway locking cat flap. Magnetic cat flap are of different types e.g. Staywell 400 which is suitable for cats weighing up to 7 kg. It also has a four way security lock. There is also Staywell 420 which is more advanced than Staywell 400. It has a magnetic collar key it can fit any door to a maximum of 54 mm depth. There are also 4 way locking cat. The flap can be closed in only, out only, in and out or locked. This kind of flap is helpful in that it you want the cut to remain inside the house you just lock it completely sand if you. it is also suitable for door that are of 50 mm thick. 4 way locking cat flap are of different types e.g.Staywell 300, Staywell 320, Staywell 340, etc. Dog door sliding Dog door sliding is another example of a patio pet door. e.g. electronic dog door which is suitable also for cats of any size. The Electronic Pet Door has spring-loaded adjusting top that gives you 2.5″ of range for fitting. Weather stripping and a locking Pin are included. The door contains a magnet collar tag which enables any pet to leave the house but the electro- magnet controlled lock hinders unwanted pets into entering the house. There is a lot more to talk about on Patio Pet Doors [http://www.patiopetdoors.net] You’ll feel confident you are making the best choice for your Pet Door needs! Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/4298972

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