Kristen Eckstein is an author and award-winning international speaker who has started 50 publishing companies and published 160 books and e-books. The founder of the “I Am Published!” Ghost Publishing program, the Self-Publish On Demand training program, and the 21 Ways book series, she reports that she embarked on writing and publishing a new Kindle book every week in the last quarter of 2013 to create the Author’s Quick Guide series of e-books. To learn more: UltimateBookCoach.com.
Repurposing is too often overlooked as a source of income and a marketing tool. Your published books are full of content waiting to be used for other things that will give the authors exposure as experts and result in more sales.
All this sounds great, but you may be asking, “What is repurposing?” You are not alone.
Repurposing is taking already written content (in this case, a book) and developing it as something else. It can be as simple as turning an article into Twitter posts or a chapter into an infographic. Five of my favorite ways to repurpose my own books’ content are outlined below so you can use them to sell more of your books and to instruct your authors on repurposing their books to sell more.
Book to Blog Posts
Some people choose to write their books using content already on their blogs, which is one form of repurposing, but it’s the opposite of what I do. I write the book first, and then adapt chapters or sections of chapters to create informative blog posts.
When I repurpose a book’s content this way, I always edit it so it reads differently than it does inside the book, and my edits often include changing the title. This not only makes the content look fresh to readers of my blog who have also bought my book; it keeps me safe from the Kindle gremlins who want to make the e-book version “free” because they found the same content on my blog for free, or to block the e-book version because of “plagiarism,” since the content inside my book is also on my Website. Both situations are prohibited by Amazon’s Terms of Service, and editing my repurposed content ensures full compliance with them.
At the bottom of each blog post I write a call to action, saying something like, “This post was adapted from my book [Title]. Grab your copy today!” Then I hyperlink the last bit of text—the instruction to “grab”—to my book’s listing on Amazon.
Advance tip: If you’re a member of the Amazon Associates program, you can link to your book on your Website using your affiliate link and make a tiny commission from each sale. This can help offset the required discount Amazon takes from your sales and the download fees it applies to your Kindle books.
A call to action is important at the bottom of every blog post, even if it’s just a request to comment on that post, because it gets readers in the habit of doing or clicking something. When they’re used to that, they find it much easier to click through to a site such as Amazon.com and make a purchase. Training your readers to take action and click means you will sell more copies of your book.
Sentences to Social Media Tips and Quips
Books are full of content that can be pulled out for Twitter posts, Facebook statuses, and other social media applications. This method of consistent posting keeps an author’s expertise in front of a worldwide audience, which helps the author build a platform and sell more books.
Simply start reading the manuscript copy of the book and then copy and paste tips, interesting information, and enlightening observations from it into a new document. You may find some of your selections are rather long. Try to keep them within the Twitter limit of 140 characters so you can post each one on all social media platforms without much editing. Short, juicy tips are best, especially tips that quickly answer the most common questions you get asked.
Once you have your list, use a scheduling program such as HootSuite to automatically post the sentences to your social media outlets. There are other programs that help you save time on social media, but I love the simplicity of posting through HootSuite and the agility it gives me—I can post to five social media outlets at once, including various Facebook pages.
I recommend that you schedule at least one post per week, and one per day if you can manage that. Do you have more than enough content for a post every day? Try posting twice a day. The more you post, the more followers you’ll get and the wider your reach will become.
Always remember to be present when your social media posts appear, and frequently check the sites where your audience primarily hangs out. If you don’t interact with your audience through comments, Likes, and so on, people may see your prescheduled posts as spam and begin avoiding you instead of following you.
Another way to reduce the likelihood that your posts will be viewed as spam is to limit the number of times you link to your book or Website. You can include links in your posts, of course, but they take up valuable character space and if your posts in your social news streams always include links, you will look like a spammer. Interacting with the people in your audience will earn their trust and make them likely to click on links when you do include them.
Chapter to Video
Video is hot, and if you’re not already using it for your publishing business, you need to start. Whether you’re an author or a publisher, one of the quickest ways to engage with your audience and earn their trust is to look into their eyes. Video lets you easily accomplish this task, and with today’s fantastic, inexpensive tools for creating and distributing decent quality videos, it’s relatively easy to accomplish.
Not only does video give authors more credibility as experts on their topics; it’s also highly indexed by Google, so it’s becoming an essential part of any book marketing plan.
Start by writing down the key bullet points from a chapter in your book (hint: chapter subheadings can give you a head start on these bullet points) and tape them to the front of your camera. A tripod and tidy background area are always recommended. Then turn your camera on and simply talk. If that frightens you, remember this: You know your topic—you quite literally wrote the book on it, and/or you published that book. The book probably answers questions from your target audience that you used to answer constantly in person, so put yourself in this mindset when you start speaking on camera.
Then use a simple video editor such as Camtasia or ScreenFlow to clean up your video, add effects, and add text for any Website resources you mention. Upload your new video to YouTube, and you’re an instant speaker and visual expert.
You can use content from your book for short tips videos, and you can go a step further and create an entire video course around your book. Each chapter can become a module, and you might sell the course for a lot more than your book’s retail price. In this scenario, your videos should expand on the book’s content and offer more tips, strategies, examples, case studies, and stories than the book offers.
Chapter Subsection to Infographic
Infographics are quickly becoming a favorite of mine. With the rise in popularity of social photo-sharing sites like Pinterest, they’re a quick way to make your content go viral.
Infographics take a topic and break it down into its most primary, essential points, then showcase those points in a graphically pleasing arrangement. People love them because they can get the point and learn something new in less than a few minutes. If what they learn is extra juicy, they’ll hit the magic “Share” link, and your expertise will be instantly seen by a new audience.
One of the things I’ve learned about infographics is to respect the design process. If you’re not a graphic designer, find someone who can design infographics for you. I guarantee, the more professional your infographic looks, the more it will be spread around.
Like book-to-blog post repurposing, infographic repurposing should have a call to action for maximum effect. It’s not enough to upload a pretty tip to multiple social circles; you want to tell people viewing your infographics to go somewhere or do something. The call to action can be to purchase your book, read an article on your blog, or even check out your other products and/or services. Just make sure you have one, and make sure it’s easy to read.
Book Tips to Quoted Pics
If you’ve spent any amount of time on social media, you’ve seen these images show up on Facebook and Pinterest. Every few status updates, an inspiring picture will appear with a big, bold, motivational quote.
This method of repurposing gets me excited because it combines a quip and graphic in a small yet powerful package. By combining your repurposed social media quips with small single-image graphics, you can create a picture that will spread through social media and reach thousands more people than you could with another marketing method, such as a teleseminar or Webinar.
Combining an appropriate royalty-free photo with a powerful tip from a book can give an author the edge needed for recognition as an expert and for driving traffic to a Website and a book. As with the detailed infographics, you should have a call to action, but for these small graphics I recommend that you make it something simple, such as a URL that leads to your Website or directly to your book. You have a limited amount of space to make a maximum impact, so keep the emphasis on the tip itself and make the URL secondary.
These images are easy to create for yourself with a program such as Photoshop or Picasa or with the Paint program that came with your computer. You can also outsource image creation to a graphic designer.
Although there are many more ways to repurpose book content so that it will increase your credibility and drive more traffic to your books, I suggest that you start with one of these five today, and watch your reach expand.