Blog posts to ebook for $123 & 6 hours of work

My book Beginning Customer Development is finished – FREE for next 48 hours. Get your copy here.

 

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.

book_excellent_read_2

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:

drip-course

 

Next up … Odesk!

So now I wanted to write the book. Again … the problem is … time. Between building SoHelpful and my upcoming workshops in Omaha and Washington, DC I just didn’t have a month to dedicate to writing.

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.

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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

2 Comments

  1. mfishbein April 15, 2014 at 11:30 am #

    Congrats Kevin! Amazing results.

    In addition to what you’re already considering for next steps, you might also consider making a paperback book. It’s incredibly easy to do on Createspace, and it can be great for both marketing and revenue. For example, you could bring copies to your upcoming workshops and give them out there.

    Let me know if you have any questions about it or need help! You know where to find me :) https://www.sohelpful.me/mikefishbein

    • kevindewalt April 16, 2014 at 8:28 am #

      Wow, thanks Mike. I had no idea that was possible. Really appreciate it, thank you!

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