It is important to understand that at some point you must finish your manuscript. Unfortunately, thoughts are not that finite. You will continue to have thoughts to express about your subject matter, even after you are done writing about it. Yet, those thoughts are for another piece.
More insidious than wanting to continue to write is the desire to continue to perfect your writing. Each change at this point can precipitate another, ad infinitum. Better to leave it alone. Let it be. It’s done. Others will decide if your writing can stand on its own. You’ll probably be surprised. Most often the answer is yes, it can.
It’s not unlike dropping off your young adult child on their college campus at the beginning of their freshman year. You’ve invested a significant amount of time, effort, and love into raising her in the way she should go. Now she will be on her own for the first time in her—and your—life. She will be meeting people that you don’t know. She will be having adventures that you never had. She will eventually have an influence within a group of people that you could never access on your own.
This is now what your book is capable of. It will represent you. It will carry the message that was given to you to release. Your book will influence people that you could never have reached on your own.
You are now done writing your book, but you do not have to be done with delivering your message. As an author in today’s world of multiple information technologies, you have many options before you for delivery systems for your message. Different people will be comfortable with different modes of accessing information—therefore, you can reach many more people with your message by repurposing your material. Repurposing is the process of packaging your writing in different formats for different purposes.
As an example, suppose you wrote a 170-page book describing how family members can resist the pressure to isolate themselves by communicating with each other more effectively. Now that your book has been published, you need to continue to find new ways to keep these ideas fresh in the minds of your readers and reach out to find new readers. One option is to produce a study guide for groups to use with your book. With this tool, one reader who enjoyed your material can then invite others to join in a group to read and discuss your book together. You have now given others the ability to promote your book for you.
Another example would be to develop a blog using the material from your book. A well developed blog will give you continued exposure to an ever increasing audience. Good ideas speak for themselves. By consistently presenting good ideas through your blog, you will develop a reputation as the authority that you are. Future blog posts will then become the core of you next manuscript, giving you the opportunity to further develop the ideas that you felt you were not able to include in your first book.
Other Ideas for Repurposing Material
- Publish in every format – Kindle, ePub, print.
- Write a online manifesto.
- Write a series of magazine articles.
- Write special reports you can use as gifts for people when they sign up for your newsletter.
- Develop a course—live or online as a webinar.
- Create an audio book.
Benefits of Repurposing your Material
Here are the three main benefits of repurposing your material.
1) Provides greater opportunity to promote your book.
As a self-published author, it is your responsibility to promote your own book. Develop a common graphic that you can use to tie all of the repurposed material back to the cover of your original book. This will keep your brand image as an author alive. Your book will become much more visible in its many forms and functions.
2) Provides increased access to your message by a greater number of people.
Capitalize on the truth that people utilize many different modalities of learning. Be creative in your use of technology to deliver your message. Develop short videos that you can upload to your own YouTube channel. Develop social media and email campaigns. Post excerpts of your book on social media sites with a link back to your website where interested readers can buy your book or get a portion of it for free. If your message is strong enough, people will want to pay to get the rest of it.
3) Provides additional income streams.
Each of your repurposed materials becomes a new income stream—either directly or indirectly. Giving away a portion of your book will draw those who resonate with your message to purchase the rest. Your increasing audience will more likely buy from you if they have a choice of options from which to chose. You will be seen as a more prolific writer than you would be if you had only one product for sale on your website.
Remember, your message does not come to an end just because you have decided to finish your manuscript. In fact, the end of the process of writing your manuscript is only the beginning of the life of your message. Be creative. Keep you message alive and well by discovering new ways to express it to an ever larger audience.
How do you think you will go about repurposing the manuscript you are working on currently?