Writing and publishing a book can be a laborious, draining, and lengthy process. (Of course, being a writer is rewarding in many ways, so it’s worth it.)
But what many authors do not realize is that all the work that was put into their book does not just have to see the light of day on the pages of the book.
Since everyone uses content in different ways, reusing your authorship – whether through courses, social media, blogs, video, audio or otherwise – can actually be considered part of the book publishing process.
Even better, recycling can do much more than spread the word about your book. It can help you expand your audience and give you a way to stay relevant long after your book launch.
This is one of the many topics I have dived into on my podcast and I have heard from many entrepreneurs about the creative ways they have managed to make the same content work for them over and over again.
CREATE BLOG POST
Top business consultant and lecturer Cameron Herold has not only made all of his five business books the keynote speaker, but has also split much of the content of those books into blog posts. With Double Double: How to double your revenue and profit in 3 years or lessfor example, he divided each chapter into 10 separate blog posts, which gave him 300 blog posts and gave him content for a few years.
With over four million blog posts being created on the Internet every day, the chances of someone – even an avid fan – seeing one of yours are possibly minimal. But because you are not reinventing the wheel and instead just using content you have already created, this method guarantees that you will not waste time screaming in the wind.
Keep in mind that blogs can not only be on your own site, but can also be used as a LinkedIn newsletter, Facebook update, Twitter thread or anywhere else. You can record an audio of each post and publish a short series of podcasts or create videos for YouTube, TikTok or Instagram. Verily, the sky is the limit.
SHARE VALUE EXCERPT IN FORUMS
Nicolas Cole, author of The Art and Business of Online Writing: How to Beat the Game by Capturing and Retaining Attention, is among many other books an advocate for circulating content to places like Quora. The method of writing on Quora, he says, is to just search for someone who asks a question about one of your topics and then insert that part of your work as an answer.
In 2013, when he wondered what would happen if he committed to answering a question on Quora a day, within a few months, he had a post that garnered 100,000 views. Then another of his answers was put on the front page of Reddit and hit 1 million views. This was the start of building his online audience, which is now in the millions.
One of the best ways to gather an online audience for your book is to provide value without bindings. While it may seem counterproductive, the reality is that most readers are so inundated with promotional content that they tune it out. But if you show up in a community – whether it’s a Quora forum, a Facebook group or a Twitter thread – and simply offer your expertise, you’ll create the greatest interest in you and your work.
TAKE IT TO THE CLASSROOM
While many authors turn their books into courses themselves, you can get others to teach the content of your book in schools. The benefit is not only that your thoughts are shared with the next generation of leaders, but that schools can start ordering your book as part of their curriculum; in other words, you have a built-in annual order.
When I published a book of essays on reality television, a marketing professor in San Jose State did not just award the book to his students; she developed an entire project around it. Students were to make a marketing presentation for me and my book as their final exam. I came in for the day and saw passionate college students who had spent months preparing what they were thinking I should do. (That was over a decade ago, but I still have a lot of the swag they created.)
One way to make your book more appealing to those who would teach it is to create sections at the end of each chapter that break down the content of your book simply and concisely. Think of it as a TL; DR (too long; did not read) summary for those who want the insight but do not have time to take in the whole story. I made this my book, Turn your mess into your memories, and it actually motivated readers to hire my company (because in short, they realized they needed help with the “lesson plan”).
Ultimately, reusing the material of your book in as many ways as possible will not only help you spread your message far and wide; it also ensures that your hard work pays off again and again. Whether it’s recording your chapters as podcast episodes, turning them into Instagram texts, or joining a Facebook group where you share your book’s material with people who are already interested in the topic, why not get your book to work for you?
NEW YORK TIMES bestselling author of eight books, founder of Legacy Launch Pad Publishing, TEDx speaker, TV book reviewer