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Using NaNoWriMo To Build Community & Write An eBook

By Nov 6, 2012July 8th, 201430 Comments

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Every year thousands of writers come together to write a novel during November’s National Novel Writing Month, or NaNoWriMo as it’s called. Why? Because arduous tasks are more fun when you have someone else doing them alongside you.

That’s why this year, many bloggers who have decided to write an eBook during the NaNoWriMo 30 days, instead of a fiction novel, will turn to one another for support. Writing with a friend, or two (dozen), is so much more effective than going it alone.


How can you use community to help complete a project effectively?

Here are my favorite tips:

1) Create a forum, group, or place where you can collaborate together

Create a forum, group, or place where you can collaborate together, even if you are all working on a different project. My 30 Days to Make and Sell a Fabulous Ebook manual comes with admission into a forum group that can give you access to other people who are also working on an eBook. Let your fellow bloggers know what you’re doing and don’t be afraid to start talking about it, even while the work is still in progress.

2) Do writing sprints with others

Sometimes you just have to slog through a chapter or section of the book and GET IT DONE. Writing sprints are a great way to keep yourself focused during those times because you get that instant accountability. Here’s how to run a writing sprint:

Get with your writing sprint partners on an IM or skype chat room. One person is the time keeper and will tell everyone when to start, usually 10 after or 15 after the hour so your writing sprint time is 50 or 45 minutes. At the end of the time the time keeper announces “Time’s up!” and everyone reports back with their word count.

3) Provide support for the finished product when it’s done

Insane to think about, perhaps, but at the end of the month you would have an eBook product ready to promote or sell. If you’ve had a month of working with others you will want to share their book, and they will want to share yours. It’s so much more effective when you can work together to share your message!

4) Help to hold one another accountable

You can announce on Facebook and Twitter that you are working and your friends will keep you accountable. If you see you goofing off on social media they will ping you – Are you finished with your chapter yet? It seriously helps.

5) Get a hand with photos, research, and information

Sometimes you just flat get stuck! When I was working on Backyard Farming on an Acre (More or Less) I got stuck looking for a photo of a mulberry tree. I put the word out to my peeps who had been following along with my book’s journey, and viola! Photo of a mulberry tree that works perfectly for the book.

Do you have an eBook waiting inside you? Believe me you aren’t the only one! Follow the #30days hashtag and join in the fun of those who are writing an eBook as a NaNoWriMo alternative so you don’t have to tackle this project alone! Pick up a copy of 30 Days to Make and Sell a Fabulous Ebook, which will have a day-by-day guide to creating and marketing your book.

About the Author
Angela England is a mother of five living with her children and husband in rural Oklahoma. She is the founder of Untrained Housewife and author of Backyard Farming on an Acre (More or Less).

Disclosure: This post includes affiliate links.

About Francesca

Francesca has an extensive background in content marketing, public relations, and social outreach. She oversees all Operations at Sway Group, including our robust metrics capabilities. Prior to joining the online world, Francesca oversaw viticulture and oenology at various wineries in both California and Italy, and managed regulatory affairs and facility approvals at the biotech company, Genentech. Francesca has been featured on CBS Sacramento and Food Blogger Pro’s podcast. She has also hosted an AMA webinar and spoken at Social Media World.


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  • Kristiina says:

    I’m actually doing NaNoWriMo this month. I never thought of turning it into an ebook!

    If anyone needs another member to the virtual group, I would love to join!

  • Sela Toki says:

    And this is why I love SITS! Exactly these kinds of information. Have been thinking about doing an Ebook and this would be the perfect way to start. Would love to join a NaNoWriMo that’s already in progress. Just need the information on how to do that. Thank you.

  • Krystle says:

    Thanks for letting me know about NaNoWriMo. I’ve never heard of it before

  • I met a woman recently from our local chapter and joined NaNoWriMo this weekend. Needless to say, I have a lot of writing to catch up on. 50,000 words in 30 days is about 1700 words a day… wow!

    • NaNoWriMo is a ton of fun. I usually do it rebel style with non-fiction instead of fiction but it’s a fabulous challenge to push your creativity regardless.

  • Sara Ivy says:

    I write stories on my own, plus nanny a 14 months old, plus work 40 hours a week, plus blog on my own AND because I’m a glutton for punishment instead of doing my usual 3-4 posts a week I’ve decided to do NaBloPoMo! That means I’m blogging every single stinking day. It’s a lot. I wouldn’t possibly be able to do a novel too.

    But bless anyone who can push out the word count. I’ve got faith in you!

  • I’m not doing this, but reading all these stories of people writing their book has encouraged me to start one and I’m excited. I made the first step today and will be going forward with it.


  • Great tips, Ang, as usual. I’ve always wondered why its in the busy month of November. Maybe when I’m a sahm!

    • I think we manage to fill our time, regardless. November is a hectic month, but it’s also a very creative month for me. I always feel the creative juices flowing during the fall season for some reason.

  • Akaleistar says:

    This is my first year participating in NaNoWriMo!

  • Tess says:

    I totally forgot about NaNoWriMo and I just found out about NaBlopomo. I wanted to write an ebook on photography. Maybe I’ll do this! : )

    • Photography is such a great topic! More and more bloggers are trying to enhance their photography skills in order to create better blog posts. Perhaps an angle designed specifically for bloggers? How to Take a Picture that Will Rock Your Blog? Or something… 😉

  • Jennifer says:

    Happy SITS Day! Enjoy! What a great idea!

  • Alexa says:

    I am participating in NaNoWriMo this year! Day 6 and so far so good. Maybe I will do the ebook next cause my inner writer is on FIRE!

    • Ashley Ellis says:

      Good for you! I signed up but haven’t been making my daily word counts. The stomach flu took out three of my kids and myself last week so it was a wash. I’m going to try and refocus this weekend and get back on track. I’m working on a book aimed at middle school readers so my word count is lower so I’m hoping I might still be able to finish. I love the accountability of NaNoWriMo! Stoke that inner fire!!!

  • Maggie S. says:

    Ha Ha…I’ve joined both NaBloPoMo and NaNoWriMo. Crazy? Stupid? Prolly.

    I’ve been wondering about an ebook. Pretty sure I don’t know anything and I’m just making it up as I go. Thus, the fiction.

    You can trust people from rural Oklahoma. They are smarter than most;)

  • Venassa says:

    I don’t think I have an ebook in me, at least not now but I did succeed at NaNoWriMo a couple of years ago and love it. I just don’t have as much free time for it anymore.

  • Sonia Barton says:

    I so need to get back on this. I was 10 days into Angela’s ebook on writing an ebook in 30 days when life took me away from it.

    • Definitely! Life can do that – at any time. But since you’re already one-third the way through, all you need to do is pick back up where you left off. I have one ebook that keeps getting shelved to the back burner, so I understand what you mean!

  • Julie Moore says:

    Great ideas! One of these days I will participate in NaNoWriMo…Just not this year. 🙂 Thanks for the tips.

  • This is a great idea! I participated in NaNoWriMo a few years ago and am working to form it into a true and full novel. I love the idea of making an e-book! Maybe next year!

    • It’s totally not too late to jump in. The first couple days are planning, topic selection, etc. The momentum added to your blogging by creating an ebook is amazing.