“If you are the smartest person in the room, you are in the wrong room”
The continued path to success is finding people that know more than you and last night I stumbled (literally) onto someone I have never heard of before. A friend shared a link to a webinar that Kristen Eckstein was running and I registered for the webinar. I had no intention of watching it then (I was going to watch the replay), but it was live and I ended up watching it. I am so glad I did.
She shared eleven ways of finding new content for your books and I have summarised them here for you.
If you use Google Hangouts or any other form of video/audio recording, you can get the interview transcribed and then converted into a book.
Did you notice how she kept the covers of the books identical? That is an excellent example of how to brand a series of books.
- A single blog post
When you write a blog post, you can use it as an outline for your next book. Your subheadings become your chapters and the bullet points can be your subheadings. It’s a great way to outline a potential book.
- Blog series
If a blog post is over 1500 words, then Kristen suggests you break it up into a series of blog posts. For example I could flesh this blog post out into several blog posts by expanding on each number item and discussion the actual ‘how to” of each step.
By linking each blog post in the series back to each other, you get the added benefit of people staying on your blog for longer periods of time.
- One question equals one book
You could write a book based on a common question that people are asking. The two easiest ways to identify what kind of questions people are asking is to use Google or Amazon search results. A great way to identify what people are asking is to type in “How to …” and let Google or Amazon auto fill with their suggestions. Just one to bear in mind. Remember to log out of Amazon or Google before you do this because they both remember ‘you’ and what your preferences are.
Kristen’s webinar last night could become the topic of an entire book. Based on the slides that she had created, she has the outline for the book. If she gets the audio transcribed, instant content. She would then just need to go and edit the text so that it is in a readable format.
If you are a professional speaker, you could get someone to record your speech for you. Then using the PowerPoint slides you created for the speech and the transcription, you have the basics of a new book.
You could choose a common theme in your book and then approach various people to contribute a chapter to this. Once you have all the contributions you would just need to do some minor editing, write an introduction and conclusion and your book is done.
Joel Comm did this very effectively with his book “So What Do You Do?”
This is a similar concept to an anthology but in this case you decide on a few questions you want answered and then you ask a few people to answer them for you. Keep the number of questions between 10 and 15. That will give 10 to 15 chapters for your book.
Once you get the answers back, edit and compile them into each chapter. Nicole Dean did this very effectively with her book “Expert Briefs – Blogging for Profit”.
Just a note. You do not have to pay the writers for this, as they will be getting extensive exposure to their brands when they contribute to your book.
If you record Podcasts, you can take the audio and again get it transcribed. Use that transcription to compile a book and then publish.
- Crossing Niches
If you have written a book for a specific niche, could you modify it to fit another niche? In my instance I wrote a marketing book for a specific type of offline business. I then took that book and customised it for another offline business type.
One thing Kristen does encourage you to do is to mention in the book that this particular book is based on the first book in the series but has been modified to suit this particular niche. That way your reader does not get irate if they discover that some of the content is the same.
- Find out what your competitors are writing about.
One very effective way of finding out what people are reading is to find out what your competitors are posting and how engaged their audiences are. When you know what people are reading in your particular niche, you can then write a book around those topics. The best part is that you already know that there is a hungry market out there for the content.
How would you use some of these ideas to create new books? Leave your comments below.