Well, my first book is done, total investment of about $123 and 6 hours of work to “write” it. Results? So far over 1,200 new readers and I repurposed a bunch of older blog content.
Here is the process I used – I hope it helps you grow your business too.
We all want to repurpose content
Most businesses today have a content marketing strategy – I even teach entrepreneurs how to create one in my Helpful Marketing seminars & workshops.
After years blogging many businesses have my problem: I can’t find answers to questions I wrote in old blog posts. I find myself telling entrepreneurs “look for a post called … to answer that question.” Usually they never find it.
But writing a book seemed like too much work
Entrepreneurs kept telling me to create something organized in a step-by-step process instead of sending them a scattershot of blog posts. I always wanted to turn my posts into a book but the whole project seemed too daunting.
So I started with a drip email course
Last Fall I took a first step – I took my old posts and turned them into a drip email course. I wrote out the step-by-step process in Get 100s of new subscribers with an email course.
This was a great first step: I had most of the ideas in old blog posts (or in my head). For some reason writing an email is easier than writing a book chapter – it took me about 24 hours to write the email course. The course was also good validation for the book:
Next up … Odesk!
But I realized I had already written the content – the drip email course are chapters and selected blog posts are perfect for an Appendix. What I really needed was an editor and someone who could do the formatting and packaging.
I found someone to do it for Odesk for $123 – lots of people can do the final editing and “clean up” work once you have a draft. The whole process took a couple of weeks with me just reviewing drafts and answering emails. “writing” the book took me about 6 hours
Finally – promoting the book
Want to write a book? Expect to spend 90% of your time on marketing. Fortunately I already know lots of startup programs worldwide. I spent an entire day reaching out to people and asking for help getting the word out. Here is what worked best:
- Contacting friends like Trevor Owens who have a big global following.
- Emailing everyone I helped through SoHelpful and asked them to forward to meetups, startup programs, etc. worldwide.
- Contacting people who run incubators & accelerators worldwide.
- Contacting friends who are running the NEXT programs worldwide.
(Thanks so much all of you – I really appreciate the help.)
The results? 1,200 new friends worldwide
I decided to give it away for free for the first 48 hours – over 1,200 entrepreneurs worldwide took advantage of the offer.
My inbox is full of questions and words of thanks. (Sorry I haven’t responded to everyone yet … I’m working on it!)
But most of all I finally have a packaged product I can give to entrepreneurs worldwide who ask me for help on Customer Development.
What’s next? Blog posts -> email course -> free book -> ???
So what’s next for the book? I’m considering a couple of options…
- Just retire the whole project.
- Offer the free version again in a few months for a limited window
- Revise the book as a polished, paid version
- Revise the book with free/premium versions
Should YOU write a book? Some food for thought
Although I was able to get the book written for minimal time and cost, please remember:
- I’ve spent most Sunday mornings for YEARS writing blog content.
- I wrote about a topic I know from years of hands-on experience.
- The relationships I mentioned above took 10+ years to develop.
Obviously … this would have taken months of work if I was writing about an unfamiliar topic where I didn’t know anyone. Like anything worth doing in startups or life … it takes work.
Photo Credit: Sami Keinänen