Why Catholic Bloggers Should Be Writing Books

I read lots of Catholic blogs.

For some I’m one of the only readers. Others have a few scores of followers, and some have hundreds or more.

I recently shared a friend’s excellent apologetics post on facebook, and it got lots more shares from friends. This friend has a Catholic apologetics blog I’ve followed for years but is only known by a small number of people.

So I told him he should consider writing a book distilling his awesome research into apologetics. But he demurred, saying that he’s not a fan of collecting money. He wants to give all the wisdom away for free so everyone can access it.

That’s a noble idea, yet paradoxically it actually reduces how far his wisdom is shared and limits how many people benefit from it.

He went on to say:

My dream is that [Apologetics issues A, B, and C] become mainstream apologetic issues. Each issue broken down into 2-3 pages so that everyone would understand. I would not mind if people took anything I wrote and put it in their own words, since this isn’t about ‘me’ getting any credit.

Again, noble. He doesn’t want fame or credit, seeing it as self-serving and narcissistic. And it certainly could become that. But it doesn’t have to. That temptation can be resisted.

The point is that he wants people to 1) realize these three issues are vital to Catholic-Protestant apologetics and 2) understand why the Catholic position on them is the true one. He wants people far and wide to know this!

But by not wanting to write a book, he is limiting his audience greatly.

magic1Digestible Comestibles

Books are digestible. They are handy little things that big companies spend millions to make e-readers for, just so people can consume them. They are printable and can be carried around and read in a chair or in a coffee shop or on the beach.

You can buy them for about $10 and get years of someone’s hard work and study and thought boiled down to the essential truth, coming to an understanding of subjects that would have taken you forever to learn.

What an amazing thing is the book!

So if he wrote a book a chapter dedicated to each of his favorite topics–all of which are important–he could reach thousands more people and help them realize the Catholic Church is true.

No one is going to go back through his six years’ worth of blog posts and cobble together in their mind all the information. But he can easily go back through and then use Book Baby or some other service and crank out a book that would serve them wonderfully!

Where Do We Go From Here?

But how does he do it? Sure, he knows how to write posts on blogspot or WordPress, but writing a book is a different beast, isn’t it?

It is at that. You have to come up with the book idea and a table of contents and a cohesive structure and thread.

And then you have to build your platform and pitch publishers or self-publish and navigate that entire space.

If only someone had created an easy-to-follow course or book that distilled down how to do all that for awesome Catholic bloggers like my friend who doesn’t know how to start with a book.

Oh wait. Someone has created that course. Right here is the Catholic Author Crash Course and contains all that information in short videos.

I also include in it all the presentation materials and the Ultimate Catholic Guide to Publishing Your Book.

I used to spend hours on the phone with friends who wanted to publish a book explaining all these things over the course of months. I would send them my own book proposals and query letters, look over theirs and give tips, help them make the contacts with publishers, guide them through self-publishing.

But now I just say: sign up for this course and you will learn it all much more quickly, and be able to reference the information forever.

I’m emailing my friend back tonight and going to copy and paste this blog post into the email. It is exactly what I want to tell him!

So if you have the same objections that he does, break through them. Realize that what seems like a noble idea is actually a way to hide your light under a basket and not shine it out on the hill. Will you face temptation? Probably. But God’s grace is sufficient for you to overcome it.

 

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2 Comments

  • Christian LeBlanc

    Reply Reply April 7, 2015

    All true! I started a blog in 2008 to keep track of ways I used the Bible in my catechism class. People would read the blog and tell me I should write a book. At first I thought it was silly, I’m not a writer. But over time the book idea coalesced into something motivating. I reorganized my curriculum around a tentative Table of Contents, and over the next couple of years wrote the book. I don’t get rich from the sales, but it’s fun to get a check every month. I get phonecalls and emails from as far away as Switzerland from DREs, RCIA leaders, catechists, and homeschoolers telling how much they like the book and how it has helped them. And I do speaking gigs and workshops as well. I never would have guessed. So take the plunge! It’s a lot of work, but well worth it in my limited experience.

    • dean soto

      Reply Reply April 27, 2015

      that is awesome! Way to go for it even though it didn’t seem like you could!

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