How to reuse your book content and make it work for you again

Writing and publishing a book can be a laborious, exhausting and time-consuming process. (Of course, being an author is rewarding in multiple ways, so it’s definitely worth it.)

But what many authors don’t realize is that all of that work that went into their book doesn’t just have to see the light of day in the pages of the book.

Since everyone consumes content in different ways, redirecting your writing – whether through courses, social media, blogs, videos, audio, or any other way – could actually be considered part of the book publishing process.

Even better, reuse can do more than get your book noticed. This can help you grow your audience and keep you relevant long after your book launch.

It’s one of the many topics I’ve delved into on my podcast, and I’ve heard many entrepreneurs talk about the creative ways they’ve managed to make the same content work for them over and over again.

CREATE BLOG ARTICLES

Business consultant and high-profile speaker Cameron Herold not only made his five business books into keynotes, but also split much of the content in those books into blog posts. With Double Double: How to Double Your Revenue and Profits in 3 Years or Lessfor example, he split each chapter into 10 separate blog posts, which brought him 300 blog posts and gave him content for a few years.

With over four million blog posts being created every day on the internet, the chances of anyone, even an ardent fan, seeing one of yours may be slim. But because you’re not reinventing the wheel and just using the content you’ve already created, this method ensures you don’t waste time shouting into the wind.

Keep in mind that blogs can not only be on your own site, but also be used as a LinkedIn newsletter, Facebook update, Twitter feed, 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. Really, the sky is the limit.

SHARE VALUABLE EXCERPTS IN THE FORUMS

Nicholas Cole, author of The art and business of online writing: how to beat the game of capturing and retaining attention, among many other books, is an advocate for posting content in places like Quora. The method for posting on Quora, he says, is to simply find someone who asks a question on one of your topics, then paste that section of your work as the answer.

In 2013, when he wondered what would happen if he committed to answering one question on Quora a day, within months he had a post that garnered 100,000 views. Then another one of his replies was reposted on the front page of Reddit and reached 1 million views. This was the start of his building his online following, which now numbers in the millions.

One of the best ways to build an online audience for your book is to provide unconditional value. Although it may seem counterproductive, the reality is that most readers are so inundated with promotional content that they ignore it. But if you show up in a community – whether it’s a Quora forum, Facebook group, or Twitter feed – by simply offering your expertise, you’re going to generate the most interest for you and your job.

BRING IT TO CLASS

While many authors turn their books into lessons themselves, you can ask 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 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 reality TV essays, a San Jose State marketing professor didn’t just give the book to her students; she developed a whole project around him. The students had to create a marketing presentation for me and my book as a final exam. I came for the day and could see passionate students who spent months preparing what they thought I should do. (That was over ten years ago, but I still have a lot of swag they created.)

One way to make your book more appealing to those who teach it is to create sections at the end of each chapter that break down your book’s content in a simple and concise way. Think of it as a TL summary; DR (too long; didn’t read) for those who want information but don’t have time to take in the whole story. I did it for my book, Make your mess your memory, 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 from your book in as many ways as possible isn’t just going to help you spread your message far and wide; it also ensures that your hard work pays off again and again. Whether it’s saving your chapters as podcast episodes, turning them into Instagram captions, or joining a Facebook group where you share your book content with people who are already interested in the topic, why not keep your book working for you?


NEW YORK TIMES best-selling author of eight books, founder of Publishing the Legacy LaunchpadTEDx speaker, TV book reviewer